Welcome to the Election Week Weekly:
This is our very first installment and we hope it will get you pumped for an exciting fall of helping your students experience the upcoming election in ways that will:
1) Build empathy
2) Stoke civic engagement
3) Celebrate the Democratic Republic
In order to keep you updated on the EW program roll out and help you make the most of this adventure, we will send you a very short email each week with tips and suggestions throughout election season. This week will help to get you started.
First of all CONGRATULATIONS. You are amazing and are making the courageous choice to step into the arena and provide your students with a crucial learning opportunity."
Now for six tips to get started.
It’s never too early to get prepared. It may feel like the election is still months away, but as school starts, candidates will be ramping up. With the first debate airing on September 29, you’ll have just the right amount of time to plan, build some empathy with students and get clear on roles, goals and protocols for conversation. Our materials will be fully downloadable the first week of September, but you can start getting ready even as early as your first day of school!
Be an Evangelist
Spread the word. Talk up this program with your colleagues and students and get them excited! “Hey, election season is coming. We’re going to use this fall to have really important conversations about issues and about the democratic process. I’d love to have you join us!” Reassure your colleagues that pre-election jitters are normal and that you will have a tool kit that can help. Even better, forward this email to 5 educators you know at other schools! The more schools that participate the better!
Like getting ready for any big adventure, we encourage you to start training. Start learning tactics for having critical conversations now. The more you read, the more you will feel ready in the fall. We will be offering conversation protocols and other guides for you to use with students and adults as you navigate critical conversations, but this is a great moment to educate yourself on helping students to speak truthfully, to listen with open minds and to separate fact from opinion. We will be posting lots of resources in the Election Week Discourse Space that can help you get ahead and feel fully prepared.
Consider WHO and WHEN
The election materials will be fully adaptable for schools to use throughout the fall but it’s important to consider exactly when you will use the curriculum and who might participate. Some schools might choose to have every student in middle and high school participate and may choose to offer the curriculum in a specific class - like history or civics. Others may want to use the materials as part of an advisory curriculum. One boarding school has decided to make this the center of their residential curriculum for the fall. Some schools may choose to have students participate on a voluntary basis and therefore might use lunch time or after school time to facilitate these activities.
Consider WHERE AND HOW
Remote or In Person? Yes. This program can be successfully facilitated both in person and remotely. Whether you are using ZOOM, Google Meet, or actually meeting F2F, the materials are designed to be shared electronically and printed. As most of us have learned this spring, you can have real conversations in a video format - breakout rooms can be incredibly human and personal. We will provide best practices and suggestions for online facilitation.
Join the Election Week Discourse Space
This program, like all L+D offerings does three things: Builds Capacity, Creates Conversation and Makes Connections. The discourse space (a SLACK workspace) allows faculty and student members of the Election Squad to engage in discourse with other educators and students all over the country. As part of your registration for the curriculum, you will get an invitation to join the discourse space. By registering, you will agree to follow a set of norms/rules of engagement for the discourse space. Student Election Squad leaders and other educators in your school can join the discourse space by agreeing to the same set of community agreements.
Next week we will be talking about The Election Squad - the group of faculty and student leaders who can help facilitate this curriculum. We’ll share some tips on how to select the Election Squad and some of the roles and responsibilities that come with The Squad.
Click here to learn more and officially sign up.
Created with images by Element5 Digital - "untitled image" • visuals - "I voted #elections" • Tierra Mallorca - "untitled image" • Elliot Sloman - "Microphone in a stand" • KirstenMarie - "College student creative portrait." • Felicia Buitenwerf - "untitled image" • John Schnobrich - "together now" • Headway - "Gaining a deep understanding the problems that customers face is how you build products that provide value and grow. It all starts with a conversation. You have to let go of your assumptions so you can listen with an open mind and understand what’s actually important to them. That way you can build something that makes their life better. Something they actually want to buy." • Olesya Grichina - "untitled image" • Sincerely Media - "Working from home and everything was so pretty - except my smoothie - I don't know how to do the 'but make it aesthetic' thing so yeah...but it's a treat to work from home every now and then!"