Global Classroom Chat – Explanations and Empathy: Addressing Tragedy and Controversy in the Classroom

‘Tis the season when many people all around the world celebrate a wide variety of winter holidays, spend time with loved ones, and ring in a new year. Although this time is filled with such joy, the reality is that tragic events, sad stories, and controversial issues don’t take a holiday and our daily news feeds, whether we access them via television, radio or the internet, are filled with current events of this nature.

As educators, part of our responsibility is to provide a safe environment for our students – a place where they not only feel physically safe but where they also feel free to ask questions, seek answers, and share their thoughts. Sometimes the things on their minds are related to complex current events and we find ourselves struggling as we work to overcome our own nervousness or discomfort, figure out how to address such topics, and determine how best to help students navigate those not-so-happy but real discussions.

With this month’s chat, we want to focus on resources you use and approaches you take when addressing controversial or tragic issues in the classroom. Let’s share so, rather than shying away, we can ensure that all students have the resources, tools, and support to help them understand and work through their own thoughts, feelings, and opinions related to such topics.


Q1: What controversial or tragic topics, issues, or events have been addressed in your classroom this year or in the past? #globalclassroom

Q2: What resources & tools have you found to assist you with addressing such current events and topics with your students? #globalclassroom

Q3: Have you ever experienced backlash from others as a result of such classroom discussions or activities? How did you respond? #globalclassroom


Check below for the time that best fits with your zone:

Chat 1 ~ Saturday, December 19, 2015

10:00 UTC (Europe/Asia/Australia)

  • 5:00 North Carolina, 10:00 London, 12:00 (noon) Cape Town, 15:30 New Delhi, 18:00 Perth, 21:00 Sydney, 23:00 Auckland
  • Click here to find out when this is in YOUR timezone.


Chat 2: Saturday, December 19, 2015

23:00 UTC (Americas/Asia/Australia).

  • Saturday night USA – 15:00 Los Angeles, 17:00 New York and North Carolina
  • Sunday morning – – 07:00 Perth, 10:00 Sydney, 12:00 Auckland
  • Click here to find out when this is in YOUR timezone.

We hope to see you online this weekend. Use #globalclassroom and join in on the conversation!


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