Three teachers at the Co-op School, a private school in Brooklyn, N.Y., had each of their students write letters to the new president-elect, Donald Trump. Teacher Dahna Bozarth wrote about the exercise for Education Week. Photos by Bozarth, and her teacher colleagues, Allison Woodin and Emily Silver.
Today in the Lion class, it was important to talk about the Presidential results. We knew that with a life lesson or disappointment, there is a teachable moment. We compared President-elect Donald Trump to our many new friends (aka our persona dolls). We remembered that on each of our students’ first days in our class, we were expected to be role models, to show them what’s important in kindergarten.
We discussed how Donald Trump will be totally new to the presidency, and maybe isn’t quite sure how to do his job just yet. He will look around and see beautiful hearts like ours and know that compassion and kindness is something that is important for his people. We concluded we have to be his role model.
The Lions wrote a letter to President-elect Trump, and we will later take a trip to a mail box to send our letters to him. In the classroom, we are talking about what we can do to spread positivity, think constructively, empower ourselves and exercise our powerful words.
The Lions were asked two questions. Here are some of their responses:
What is the President’s job?
Chance – to take care of the world
Liev – He goes in a big building and sits on the top and works to be compassionate
Gus – to take care of the world and treat everyone with respect
Rishi – to be respectful and kind to other people
Calvin – to rule our state (country)
Ellie – President is supposed to run the country
Mateo – he is the boss of the country
Robin – to keep everybody safe and next year Hillary Clinton will be the president
How will he know what makes us happy?
Nico – if we teach him how to be nicer than he is now
Chance – we can teach him to be kinder and not to do bad things
Liev – to teach him to be compassionate be kind be nice and to not make a wall
Lee – we can teach him compassion
Zymair – we can teach him a lesson
Khalifa – keep the town safe and don’t let it be destroyed
Miles – he will know if we write him a letter
Ogden – the president could go some where to not learn bad words and learn good words. As president he could say good words
It is important we…
Are nice – Joseph
Use kind words – Alice
We should not hate women we should treat them nice – Lee
Be nice to boys – Khalifa
Are happy and love everybody – Robin
Are nice – Mateo
We spoke about how it is our new president’s job to make us feel happy and safe. We concluded that he will be new at his job and maybe needs some of our suggestions and advice. Just like a common cold, kindness and compassion are contagious. It starts with us.
The teachers had full hearts as the Lions worked together to spread the love that comes so naturally to them. We are so proud of our young activists!
A version of this article first appeared in the Full Frame blog.