Social media, the 24-hour news cycle, and questionable media sources (or questionable reporting techniques) have become their own newsworthy headlines. As a result, life can appear dark, far darker than in pre–social media days. In turn, we as teachers, librarians, and adults need strategies for teaching current events.
As adults, we bring our prior knowledge of history and our optimism about humanity to help us process and filter this inundation. Our students, however, do not have hindsight to combat their feelings of helplessness. They are surrounded by unfiltered current events—a rapid fire of negativity that can leave them vulnerable and overly anxious. It’s no wonder that teen stress is on the rise.
Nevertheless, our students have to know about the world around them, and part of our job as educators is to prepare them for the realities of the world outside the classroom walls. It’s difficult, however, to walk this precarious high wire of responsibility knowing that we need to expose students to current events and yet still nurture them developmentally.
Read on for practical and powerful ways for teaching current events in your curriculum on Edutopia.