November Snapshot

Ana Chaney
Middle schoolers have been talking and thinking about the election, like all of us.
With advisors and in classes, they are discussing the electoral college, the nature of polling and prediction, the pace of vote counting, and the various down ballot races. I spent today in eighth grade classrooms talking about the below 'size of lead' map published by the New York Times. What does this tell us?
On Tuesday, in a division-wide zoom call, we connected with recent alums who were out working at polling places around the city, as well as a volunteer with the Biden campaign who called in from Pennsylvania. Our guests explained their reasons for doing this work, and what it was like to be out on election day.
On Wednesday, in Middle School Meeting, students took time to re-state the classroom norms and values that were important to them and that are so often absent from political discourse: Don't raise your hand while other people are talking. Be kind. Don't assume what people are thinking. A teacher shared some of the many firsts of this election: Cori Bush is the first Black woman elected to represent Missouri in Congress, Ritchie Torres is the first openly gay Afro-Latinx man elected to Congress, Mondaire Jones is the first openly gay Black men elected to Congress, Sarah McBride is the first openly transgender person elected to state senate, and Mauree Turner is the first openly nonbinary person elected to a state legislature (Oklahoma). There are others. Amidst the noise and uncertainty, these are undeniable reasons for hope. 
Meanwhile, the social and academic life of middle schoolers continues, as irrepressible as always. Students are reading, debating, creating, problem solving, and writing up a storm. I hope you enjoy the video snapshot of life in the middle school. Click here or on the image below to view.

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