A bruising election campaign is over. For some, Trump’s win represented long-needed change. For others, a risky direction for America. I think about the election from the perspective of a parent and educator: it revealed sharp divides in our communities, and even in our own classrooms. (My 10-year-old Theo, a Hillary supporter, woke up to the dread that he would have to face down his classmate and close friend Luke, a Trump supporter.)
Disagreement, uncertainty and change are catalysts for the most powerful and rich classroom experiences. The coming days and weeks represent a once-in-a-generation opportunity for teachers to leverage the changing political landscape.
You’ll undoubtedly have opportunities to discuss some of the most important issues of our time with your students like climate change, civil rights, immigration, the economy, Supreme Court nominations and the United States’ role on the world stage. When done well, the articles that students read, as well as the discussions they have, will be remembered for a lifetime.
To help you teach these topics and facilitate these discussions, we’re making Newsela’s PRO Teacher Resources free to all teachers through Inauguration Day, January 20th. PRO Teacher Resources are a collection of activities, mini-lessons, and content connections, right on the article page below the image. They are designed to help educators bring Newsela’s content into the classroom through cross-curricular instruction. Alongside upcoming election articles, we will be creating resources and strategies for facilitating meaningful classroom discussion. You can see some of these resources on today’s article about Trump’s victory.
We’ll continue to cover the election and White House transition through news articles, enhanced with primary source documents from our Library like the Constitution, speeches, biographies, Text Sets and more. And we’ll publish as many PRO Teacher Resources as we can along the way.
On a closing note, some pundits explain Trump’s surprise victory as a reaction to the feeling that the American dream feels out of reach for many. I’ve always believed in the power of education as a Great Equalizer. That’s the reason why so many of us became educators in the first place. Keep teaching.
Founder & CEO