A Letter to My Students:
Where do I begin? This year has been weird for all of us, wouldn’t you agree?
You have faced so many uncertainties already in this young year and your young lives. You’ve never really known a time without this “weirdness.” You’ve grown up in a world shaped by 9/11, never-ending wars, and personal and societal unrest.
You have lived with this constant specter of “What could be next?.”
To complicate things, we get all of this information through our timelines and news feeds instead of from reporters and journalists; what a time to be alive.
Now this — now you are responsible to fight an enemy you cannot see. It doesn’t have a body or a face, but it has stripped from you whatever version of normal you have always known.
It has taken from all of us what we have always taken for granted — the ability to move from place to place, to see our friends, go to work, and even go out to dinner.
There is something important to take away from this; a lesson I hope you all take to heart.
It is now your turn to step up and make your voice heard to the wider world. What a time to be able to do it, with all of social media at your disposal.
By the time this crisis has calmed, you will have the opportunity to take a real role in the world around you. Now is the time to take action — to shape the future as you will live it.
Necessity and Urgency are the engines behind change and we have both in this moment. It is now necessary for you to step up and take part in the world, and government, that you live in.
It is urgent — now is the moment in which to act and the moment is ever fleeting.
You are my students and I love you deeply. You all come from different backgrounds and experiences, but right now, you are all sharing an experience.
In this moment, the field has been leveled and we all share a common moment in history. Now is the time to see ourselves for who we all really are: human.
I hope to see you and learn with you again in person soon. Until then, I hope you are safe, healthy, and happy.
If no one has told you today, I’m telling you now: I love you.
Dillon Oney is a social studies teacher at Wilmington High School.