Monday, June 1, 2020

Be the Change

I can’t be at rallies or protests for a number of reasons. I’ve had pneumonia this time of year and have an auto-immune disorder. If I get arrested, I can say good-bye to my teaching career. I have a child that needs me. But I still want to do what I can to advocate for and protect those I love. This is just one action I am am taking in response to these times:
I teach about the environment through art. I teach about the importance, the necessity, of biodiversity. Children thrill at the diversity of colors and shapes and textures in leaves, in seeds. I teach about pollination, not just about the introduced domesticated honey bees, but the solitary bees, the butterflies and moths, the beetles, flies, ants, birds, and even bats that pollinate. Without insect pollinators, humanity would be wiped out. We don’t get to decide which insects get to pollinate our tomatoes, which more often will be a bumblebee, nor should we. Using pesticides and enforcing monocultures is toxic. Words of hate and racism and suppression of other races and cultures is toxic.
Today I continue work bringing nature to children. I am mostly engaged online, but I prepare for the time we can be together again. I struggled with putting nature under a plastic shield, wanting kids to touch actual leaves and galls knowing some would be crushed. Now I seal some of my favorite pressed leaves under lamination so each child I teach can look at their diversity before collecting their own leaves around where we are. I will wipe all the sheets down with Lysol. I’m placing robin egg shells, cicada exoskeletons, dragonfly exuvia, and oak apple galls inside clear plastic cases to pass around and wipe between each student, as they learn how nature solves problems.
We need to change our nature as a society. Be the change you want to see.

We need to change our nature as a society.  Be the change you want to see.