Tuesday, January 24, 2017


I didn't go to the Women's March in Denver on Saturday.

I really wanted to be there, however, several months ago, I agreed to do a presentation at tutor training for a local non-profit. It was at the same time as the march and I just didn't feel like I could back out.

So I went.

And encountered what I hope the world will not be like for the next four years.

My presentation was about ways tutors could support their English learners. One of the first things I talked about was the importance of building relationships, and helping their tutoring partners to feel safe and relaxed.

A woman raised her hand and asked, "But what if my child (her tutoring partner) doesn't feel safe. He cries every week because he is afraid he is going to be deported."

At that point, a man sitting right in front of me growled, in a really audible tone, "Let's not get political."

I tried to respond to the woman's question as best as I could. I told her that I would tell the little boy the same thing I had told the kindergartners at the lockdown drill the day before. We had been sitting under the table against the wall in the art room and one of the little girls was frightened and started to cry. I told her that she didn't need to worry, (first of all because it was just a practice), and secondly, because it was my job, as an adult, to take care of her and keep her safe as best as I could. That moms and dads and grandparents and teachers always do their best to keep kids safe.

And then I went on with my presentation. Over the next 45 minutes, I shared about 15 more strategies. People clapped when I was done, and I thought it had gone ok.

Later I learned that the "not get political" gentleman had gone first to the person in charge of my session, and then to the president of the whole organization, to complain about how political my session was.

And even though I know it was only one person and probably not that big a deal, I can't stop thinking about it.

I can't stop wondering what the next four years are going to look like.


Ramona said...

Oh, don't let that old goat spoil all the goodness that your presentation provided. Focus on the applause, not the complainer!

Kristi Lonheim said...

If standing up for children's rights is getting political, carry on!

Linda B said...

I echo Kristi's words, Carol. It is despite those naysayers that we stand up proudly for all children. What in the world was he doing there? Sorry for this, but I imagine your presentation was wonderful, and added to the hope of all the marchers!

elsie said...

I agree with Ramona, focus on the other participants and don't let that man get under your skin. It's sad to think that the next four years will be like this.

Mary Lee said...