Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) Educators Emily and Elena had another great day with one of the Grade 8 classes from a local public school teaching Leadership 101. Similar to their peers from yesterday’s workshop, the 29 students were engaged, insightful, and deeply interested in what Elena and Emily had to teach. Emily chatted with the two supervising teachers at the lunch break and after the workshop, and they both were impressed with the information as well as the activities in the workshop. One of the teachers expressed the difficulty in teaching empathy to students these days, and how workshops such as the one delivered today was exactly the type of training the next generation required.
One of the activities about diversity always results in some interesting stories and today we had a few that were very powerful. One student shared a story about how he used to attend a school that was predominantly Chinese students, and once when he was trying to play with a group at recess, they excluded him and called him a “negro.” Another student shared a story about how eye-opening it was to transfer from a school with lower diversity outside Toronto into his current school, which has representatives from diverse groups all over the world.
Elena and Emily had a good discussion about values and the similar values that we all hold, even when we all come from different backgrounds and different experiences. The students were upbeat and engaged for the full workshop. Emily and Elena are looking forward to teaching more groups from this school as they come with positive attitudes and a great foundation in the material that is being taught.