I woke up at 5:30 this morning, got ready for the day, and was driving to Caribou coffee at 6:15 with the goal to put the finishing touches on my upcoming lessons for the next few days. I knew I'd have limited prep time with my many meetings and agenda items ahead, and I wanted a quiet hour in the morning to complete them during the time I do my best work. The starry skies blinked their still visible constellations as I traveled my early route.
But I drove across town with a heavy heart, my mind linked, and yet at the same time, detached from the lessons I had to finish for my classes.
We just spent four weeks reading The Diary of Anne Frank. Year after year of teaching this nonfiction work of literature, there is always one student who says, "It isn't fair that Anne had to suffer because she was different. That's not kind." I spend weeks teaching tolerance. I spend weeks teaching my students that while it's okay to disagree, it is not okay to be unkind. We spend time researching how one person influenced millions to believe that some people were not fit to work, fit to live, and ultimately, these people were sent to die.