Can You Talk About That in Elementary School? Navigating Social Justice Conversations with Young Students

“Can you really talk about that in elementary school?” My colleagues often ask me. Then think for a moment and confirm, “I don’t think you can!”

As an elementary school teacher, I often feel the need to close the door when talking to students about sensitive social justice topics like race, privilege, Black Lives Matter, gay rights, and police brutality.

Why is it that our school districts can make sweeping comments about their support of equity and the need to talk about racism in schools, and yet, the very teachers who must carry out these visions, feel that they don’t have the permission to go there? Why is it that we feel the need to close our doors?

As an elementary school teacher and an equity ambassador for my school district, I too even feel the anxiety when discussing sensitive social justice topics. However, I push through because I understand the value of these conversations and am confident that these discussions must take place even with our youngest students.

I know that many of my colleagues want to have these important conversations with their students, and they too value the importance, however, in the end, decide not to go there, out of fear of getting in trouble. Oftentimes, even if they are willing to confront their anxiety to do so, they just simply don’t know where to start.

Read the full article at:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s