UN-happy Holidays: Creating Safe Space and Community

By Vivett Dukes & Adam Yankey

#SafeSpaceConvos is a Twitter chat hosted by teacher, writer, and advocate Vivett Dukes on alternating Mondays at 8:30pm ET. In a forum that encourages honest dialogue and connection, we come together to learn, grow, and co-construct solutions to pressing problems for students.

Adam Yankey is a teacher with more than 20 years of experience. His subjects are his students in the fields of statistics, mathematics, and general life learning. He and his family currently live in Hudson, Ohio.


Chat Highlights

Q1: It may be easy to assume that this is a happy season for all in your classroom.  What is your default language in the classroom regarding this season?


Q2: Without asking students to “out” themselves, how do you create a safe space for students who may not be celebrating this season at all, much less in a non-traditional way?


Q3: How many of us educators struggle with depression, loneliness, or anxiety during the holidays? How do you cope?


Q4: As parents, how do you handle the consumerism that fills so much of this season if you are experiencing financial lack? Where do you go for assistance?


Q5: What provisions, if any, are in place within your school to support families who are experiencing hardships during this time of year? What about outside of your school?


Q6: How do you really feel about the holidays? Be honest.


Q7: What do you think is the root cause of the spike in suicides and cases of depression around the holiday season?


Q8: Please share service projects that you’ve engaged in with your students / family during this time of year. What was this experience like for you?


Q9: What else can we do to make this season a happy one for all?


Q10: As we conclude #SafeSpaceConvos for 2019, please share one wish you have.


Be bold. Be authentic. Join #SafeSpaceConvos

You’re invited to join the next chat on Monday, January 6, 2020 at 8:30pm ET. You can also read through these archived chats for insights and resources from your peers.