As the historic inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris unfolded in the U.S. Capitol, Shelby County Schools teachers and students took it in as a learning experience.
Thousands of SCS students watched the transition of power. They had been primed for its historic elements, including Biden sworn in as the nation’s oldest elected President in history and Harris becoming the first woman, African American and South Asian American to serve as Vice President.
In the days leading up to the inauguration, SCS shared resources for teachers of all grade levels to support conversations, lessons and activities to help students learn about the occasion.
“We wanted students to have the opportunity to explore information sources about the Inauguration process and demonstrate historical awareness about the event,” said Supt. Dr. Joris M. Ray.
“While all grades may not have a specific correlating standard concerning the Inauguration, there is ample support within the Social Studies curriculum and practices for viewing and/or discussing the Inauguration as a class.”
“We’re preparing students for their future,” said SCS Board Chair Miska Clay Bibbs. “Events like the Inauguration amplify the importance of real life lessons in the classroom to help mold student minds for life’s uncomfortable conversations whether it be politics, race or religion.”
With reports of possible violence during Inauguration week, educators referred to their training for social-emotional learning. Ray’s Superintendent’s update, shared on January 11, also contained resources on how to address traumatic events in the classroom.
Lessons and reflections showing how SCS teachers and students took part in Inauguration Day were shared on social media with the hashtag #InaugurationDaySCS.