School is full of conflict. This week we explore three conflicts in the classroom. Students and teachers use poetry and stories to reflect on moments of friction at school and help us understand why they matter.
In the first story, writer Jamila Reddy shares a poem about an elementary school conflict. Kids can be mean, even at a really young age. But why are they mean? And what is the lasting impact?
The second story is about identity and belonging, and it is about a nuance in Spanish grammar. Students Abigail Stern and Yen Nguyen sit down to talk with their Spanish teacher Brenda De Leon about a moment of conflict from earlier this year.
The last story is not so much about conflict as it is about overcoming conflict. Three high school students from the Poetic Justice program who never thought they would graduate are getting diplomas. This story is from four years ago and explores how students used poetry to empower themselves and excel in school.
The classroom is a crucible. It is a place that defines us. And it is a place where we stretch who we are and what we are capable of in this world. But it is also a reflection of the world around us that includes the hurt we cause each other. The conflicts we encounter in school, they pull us down, but they also teach us how to persevere. In the midst of these conflicts, the power of stories emerge. Our stories are a bridge, a beacon, and an empowering force. In the midst of conflict, our stories connect us.