For the past few days, I been talking about the upcoming election with my students. When we first started our conversation, none of the students knew who the current president was. Even when I prompted them with "George..." they didn't respond (usually someone at least says "George Washington." So I had a lot of work cut out for me. I showed them pictures of George W. Bush along with John McCain and Barack Obama. We talked about how voting is a very important thing to do and that they should ask their parents to go into the booth with them when they vote so they can see it for themselves. On Monday morning, the voting booths were already delivered to the school and were pushed against our gymnasium wall. I took a few minutes to take the class over to them to look at them and talk about how we would pull the lever and choose the next president.
This morning, during our morning meeting, I asked the children if anyone had talked to their parents about who won the election, if anyone knew who would be the next president. Many hands shot up. I called on Robert, one of my few African-American students (the rest are hispanic). With pride, he said "Rock Obama." (so cute!) I said "That's right, Barack Obama" and I had all of the children practice the pronunciation of his name. After Robert said that, the kid in front of him, Aaron, turned around and silently pointed all around Robert's face and to his arms with a questioning look as if to ask, "The one with your skin color?" Robert nodded with a huge pride-filled smile and Aaron turned back around and uttered a barely audible "Yes!" complete with a satisfied expression and a fist motion. This was just an innocent moment between kids trying to make sense of the world. I happened to catch it out of the corner of my eye as I called on another student who had begun to talk about how they celebrated throughout the neighborhood all night long. I was so touched and so proud in that moment that Robert could be beeming with such pride and see himself in the next president of the United States.