“My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” — Desmond Tutu
As parents, we know that part of our job is to have big conversations with our kids about life’s important topics. Yet when these topics are complex, charged, or nuanced, it can be difficult to know where to start.
That’s why, when it comes to having life’s big conversations with my own children or our TQS students, I find peace in our school’s Quaker roots.
Quakers embrace the principles of tolerance, equality, and spirituality. They believe in an emphasis on service, social action, and learning by experience, and are committed to community, responsibility, stewardship, and environmental sustainability. Keeping these principals at the center of big conversations makes discussing any topic less daunting.
Right now, we are leading from this Quaker space of acceptance and openness as we celebrate Black Lives Matter at School, a week of action focused on racial justice in education.
NOT affiliated with the Black Lives Matter organization, Black Lives Matter at School is an open-source curriculum designed by a group of educators. It includes lesson plans and classroom resources that challenge racism and oppression and provide students with the vocabulary and tools to take action.
As we celebrate Black History Month and amplify black voices in our classrooms, we also remind our students that diversity and inclusion are more than a monthly “theme” – they are part of the fabric of our school. We want all of our students to understand that our differences are what make our TQS community shine.
We start these big conversations here, but we encourage parents to continue them at home.
If you’re struggling to know where to begin, I welcome you to read my latest blog post: Big Conversations: Talking About Diversity with Your Child with Complex Challenges. In it, I offer some simple tips on how to get complex conversations started.
By talking to our children with complex challenges about large societal and life issues, we can better prepare them to meet the world with light, love, and acceptance — something that will benefit us all.