Pardon me while I hop off my #edtech podium for a second. The Social Studies teacher in me would like to make an appearance.
As we approach election day this week, I see more and more posts and conversations complaining about campaign ads. I get it. They take over our lives – I *literally* had one infiltrate my dreams yesterday. But the “annoying-ness” aside, we can use this as an opportunity to model passion for issues we care about.
I am fortunate enough to have many friends who are active in the political process, so I have also seen posts on my newsfeed supporting candidates based on how they feel about animal legislation, how they feel about negative ads and bullying, and how they interact with the public on a day-to-day basis. These issues are the real pieces that get people involved in their community and government. Finding those passions and actionable outlets for those passions are hugely important. Elections should not be a game of politics and party loyalty, but an opportunity to take a step forward in making a difference on issues you care about.
When it comes to participating, you share your voice, you share your passion, you share your truth. Students who actively and positively participate in a community have ownership and pride in that community, and those are our successful future leaders.
As we talk to our students, it’s important to remind them of the true purpose of the election process. We’re working together to make a difference in our nation, sure, but more importantly we’re identifying local issues we’re passionate about. We ask that our genius hour projects be actionable or have a product or showcase, right? What a great outlet campaigns and elections could be for that. Your students are passionate about animals? Farming? Clean water? Education? Voting is an integral part of the change process, and instead of complaining about how many times we have to hit fast-forward on the DVR, in the future let’s find more opportunities to get our students involved in the process and the movement.