This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
There’s been a lot of attention during the last week on how schools, teachers, and students are handling the results of the presidential election. But on that topic, no one has gotten as much attention as Philadelphia 3rd-grade teacher Jasmyn Wright.
Last Wednesday, Wright videotaped her students reciting a self-affirmation mantra that they repeat every day before class. She posted it shortly thereafter on Facebook, where it has racked up millions of views.
In a call-and-response pattern, Wright asks her students a series of questions, to which they respond emphatically:
"I’m gonna push through!”
Then Wright rattles off a list of prominent thinkers and political activists, to which the students say, "he pushed through” or “she pushed through.”
Underneath the short video, Wright posted a caption:
"Teaching my 3rd grade black and brown babies to #PushThrough today. Due to unwelcoming, unsettling, and uncomfortable election results, this was our lesson for the day.”
Wright teaches at the Douglass Campus of the Mastery Charter Schools network. Enrollment at the school, located just west of Temple University in North Philadelphia, is 94.2 percent Black.
Wright said the post wasn’t supposed to be political. She knew, however, that her students were feeling a bit uneasy at the end of such a contentious campaign. She wanted to reassure them and refocus them, she said.