Lesson Plans for Trump’s America

Greetings, everyone! I hope that you’ve all had a chance to recharge since last Tuesday. Many of us were disturbed by the outcome of the presidential election. People have been crying and protesting in the streets. They have made their outrage known all over the internet, as well. I have seen many of my friends and colleagues try to make sense of it. Change is coming this winter.

The impromptu mural at the 14th Street-Union Square subway station in New York City

Artists and educators from all disciplines ideally want to be agents of change. More often than not, our ability to make an impact in our line of work is directly influenced by the state of political affairs. As the United States of America heads into a new political era, I encourage all of you in the field to do the following:

Keep doing what works.

We are going to feel the urge to try some new lesson or unit plan that seems like it could push the envelope. That won’t be the right move. Your students and collaborators will need creative activities that promote healing in the coming months. The next time you sit down to plan a lesson or a project, ask yourself “What do I do best? What is the most helpful thing that I can do?”

Start listening to your classroom! Are they begging to play “Sneaky Statues” or “Hot Seat” each week? Is the group itching to write a play about a specific topic? Learn what makes your classes successful in order to plan useful lessons. It’s too easy to point out something that is wrong. Anything that we view to be wrong or a failure is upsetting. Instead of moving somewhere else or yelling at the source, search for what can make a difference.

The flaws of any method, be it political or theatrical, are revealed over time. The tools that are proven to work have staying power.

This post was originally posted on katetrammell.com

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