Haiti relief

Support Doctors Without Borders in Haiti

I donated to Doctors Without Borders, but there are many organizations that could also use your help.

Tomorrow after school, a group of teachers and students are meeting to discuss what our school can do to help with Haiti relief efforts. In the face of so much tragedy and loss, I really feel how astounding it is that I get to teach. I see how much potential I have, as an educator, to create change. Change with individual students, in our community, and in the world.

I’ve been reading a number of education blogs lately, and found that this post on Edutopia, “How to discuss the Haiti disaster with students” by Elena Aguilar really articulated a lot of my thoughts. Some excerpts:

“I thought about this today. The earthquake in Haiti is not a natural disaster; the disaster is the result of underdevelopment, poverty, and a complex series of political and economic decisions made by first world powers over the last 200 years. The earthquake has exposed Haiti’s desperate poverty; it is underdevelopment that is a disaster.

If I was teaching kids right now, I’d find some way to communicate this fact to them. It feels urgent. It makes what has happened in Haiti something that the world is responsible for — particularly the United States and France, Haiti’s former colonizers. But you’d have to understand something about Haiti’s history in order to understand why I’m saying that.”

“I’d help students think about what they could do to help others — what they can do right now to help Haitians, and what they might do one day to help others. I’m really big on the idea that everyone should contribute to the world, and I find that children are easily engaged with this notion. They want to be of service to people, or animals, or the environment. In my experience, kids really want opportunities to volunteer and help.”

“And so I’d use this situation to push this idea: We all belong to the same planet and have a responsibility to help each other. What can you do? What will you do?”

“It’s really about building empathy, opening our hearts, and expanding our notion of who belongs in our community. As an educator, I often feel like this is my primary charge — all I really aspire to do.”

Comments are closed.