Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Slice of Life: Look into each other's faces!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Betsy, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Melanie, and Lanny
 for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.

Like many of you, my heart is hurting with the most recent violence experienced in Charlottesville.  My thoughts turn to poetry as they often do in times of distress.  I'm sharing Joyce Sidman's poem "Starting Now" from the book What the Heart Knows:  Chants, Charms, and Blessings.  Thanks to Joyce for giving me permission to share.  

Starting Now 

It is time for us to wake:
we who stumble through the day
with our gripes and complaints,
who drift numbly
through thronging halls and streets -

you and I,
who rant about injustice,
who see all that is wrong in this world
but believe we are shackled 
and powerless.

It is time to look into
each other's faces,
we who glide along the surface,
time to dive down
and feel the currents 
of each other's lives.
Time to speak until the air
holds all of our voices.
Time to weave for each other
a garment of brightness.

Open your eyes.
Feel your strength.
Bless the past.
Greet the future.

Join hands.  
Right here.
Our moment:
starting now.

I love all the poems in this book.  Go buy Sidman's book (or check it out of the library).  Other poems that are especially appropriate for right now include "Song of Bravery," "Blessing on the Downtrodden," and "I Find Peace."  And in the interest of looking "into each other's faces" and speaking "until the air holds all our voices," I offer up these timely posts from bloggers and journalists who speak more eloquently than I.  I've been sharing them on FB, but wanted to collect them all in one place.  Please understand that some of the resources do overlap.  I will continue to add resources as I discover them to this post. 

Pernille Ripp
Great Picture Books to Inspire Hope in the World 

Erica at What Do We Do All Day?
Picture Books that Teach Kids to Combat Racism

The Washington Post
The first thing teachers should do when school starts is talk about hatred in America. Here’s help.

Kylene Beers
And School Begins

From Karen Jensen
Sunday Reflections:  Talking with Teens about Charlottesville

The Stenhouse Blog
Resources for teaching empathy and tolerance 
(books can be previewed online)

There is No Apolitical Classroom:  Resources for Teaching in These Times

Rethinking Schools
Seven Ways that Teachers Can Respond to the Evil of Charlottesville - Starting Now

Education Week
Yes, Race and Politics Belong in the Classroom

Vicki Vinton
Who Will We Become As We Gather Together in this Terrible Kingdom?

School Library Journal
Resource Roundup:  Teaching and Curriculum Supports on Antibias and Social Justice

NNSTOY (National Network of State Teachers of the Year)
Social Justice Book List

Many of my teacher friends have already begun the the school year, others are prepping their classrooms, and some are busy soaking up the last bit of summer.  Wherever you are on that continuum, you have my wishes and hopes and prayers for you as you interact with your new group of learners.  The final stanza from Joyce Sidman's poem "Starting Now" can be a rallying cry.  

"Join hands.
Right here.
Our moment:
starting now."  


  1. Thanks for the boom suggestion and the sharing. Super important time to share with honesty and vulnerability

  2. Thanks for the recommendation to Sidman's book. I needed to read this excerpt today. I'm beyond frustrated about what's happened to our country in the past year. Hoping kindness, love, and level-headedness will prevail.

  3. Oh thank you for this - I had forgotten about this book. I will go look for it on my shelf. Poetry is needed today.

  4. One small voice added to another small voice gets louder. Keep adding voices and it soon becomes a roar. Roars cannot be ignored. Thanks for sharing the poem and blog posts.

  5. I have that Sidman book so I'll be looking for it tomorrow. Thanks for the resources. I did the NYTimes Learning Network article on Monday with my students. They didn't even know it had happened. I hope they went home and talked to their parents. Makes me nervous to be in this position. I feel like I'm never sure who I'm talking to.

  6. I love that Sidman book. Thank you for lifting that poem and providing so many sources to address the heartache in Charlottesville.