Talking with students

You just know what the topic of conversation will be at school this morning and, perhaps, for the next while.

Hopefully, your school district has planned for such an unfortunate event and you have instructions about these discussions in the employee handbook.  Hopefully, you would have received communications over the weekend or this morning detailing exactly where to find that information and perhaps some additional resources so that you can be prepared.

If you or your students were connected to any kind of media, traditional or social, over the weekend, you couldn’t avoid hearing the details and speculations as news services reported the truths known and tried to be the first to report on “Breaking News” which often can ignore the facts on the chance that they might be the first to tell you something.

Over the weekend, I found this article from Time with suggestions for having this discussion with children.  Upon digging further, there are a number of articles related to this topic.  I particularly liked this one because it gave specific ideas based upon the age of the child having the discussion.  I’ve seen the article shared and reshared as the online community attempts to educate itself.

How to Talk to Your Kids About the Attacks in Paris

Sheila Stewart shared an article that she thought was particularly good as well.

In Response to Paris…

Hopefully you’ll find these articles, in addition to your districts resources, helpful today.  It’s a sombre reminder to society how the teaching profession can reach out and do so much more for children than just teaching subject content.








2 responses to “Talking with students”

  1. OTR Links 11/17/2015 | doug --- off the record Avatar

    […] Talking with students | doug — off the record […]


  2. lisamnoble Avatar


    Thanks for sharing Sheila’s find. To me, it was, bar none, the best piece I’ve read on this topic. The author’s unique, and tragic, personal experience made it very, very relevant and (to use a little jargon) pretty solidly based in action research. Wow.

    I had some interesting experiences yesterday, because the unique tweak in Peterborough was the fire on Saturday night at our only local mosque, and that was something we also needed to talk about with our students. As ever, I was amazed at the number of my students who had not heard that this had happened. We also had some really interesting discussion about why we might pay more attention/hear more about this than we would the situations that are happening in other places in the world. My kids were very honest about the fact that it is much easier to identify with victims of terrorism that look like them and live like them. Some of my kids have been to Paris, some to the Place de la Republique, and all of them have a frame of reference for Paris, even if it’s just the Eiffel Tower. Not so, Beirut.

    Always worth having the conversations with my intermediate kids – even with pushing through the challenges of having the discussion in a second language. I learn, every time.


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