Ukraine Crisis in the Classroom


The Russian invasion of Ukraine may be on the other side of the world, but in many Northwood classrooms, it’s what’s for homework and the topic of the day’s lesson. 

On February 23rd around 4:00 am, Russia started to invade Ukraine. This conflict has been an ongoing situation for many years. Russia and Ukraine had previously been close allies until Ukraine made gestures to join NATO when tensions between the neighboring countries arose. Russia was irritated when they heard Ukraine was attempting to join NATO because the two countries have been close for generations; Ukraine was part of the U.S.S.R. Russia began stationing troops around Ukraine, insisting they weren’t going to attack — until they did of February 23rd. Many innocent people have been injured or killed while Russia invaded and attacked Ukrainian military bases, infrastructure, and according to some news reports, civilian targets.  

In response to the current events happening in the world some of Northwood’s teachers have been keeping their students up to date.  

In the ninth grade Integrated Humanities class taught by Ms. Carmichael and Ms. Wardlaw, they had been listening to a podcast overviewing the events in Ukraine. The podcast touched on the people of Ukraine that are fleeing to surrounding countries, people going into Ukraine to help fight, families having to say goodbye to loved ones going to fight, commercial flights being cancelled because of the crisis, and media outlets backed by Russia being banned.  

Students also discussed war history and how this crisis compares to past events. Teachers consistently ask students’ opinions on what they were learning. They had previously written personal reflections on the crisis; in the future they will look back on what happened without any media bias.  

Also, to relate to students’ athletic interests, they discussed how Russia and Belarus, a close ally of Russia who provided support for the invasion, were getting kicked out of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association). Many athletic teams from around the work have objected to allowing Russia into international completions. 

Students in Ms. Odell’s and Ms. Riffle’s sophomore Integrated Humanities class are also comparing the Ukraine crisis to past wars to see how they correlate. “We learned about NATO, which was founded after World War II, and the Cold War and the Soviet Union and how it collapsed and how that relates to the current ongoing war and conflict in Ukraine and Russia,” Brian Brady ‘24 said. Brady also said he’s interested to see how the U.S. responds, and how the conflict will affect fossil fuel prices. Brady said he appreciated discussing current events in class. “It broadens our understanding of what’s happening in the world,” he said. 

Students in Mr. Nemec’s AP Macroeconomics class they have been learning about the Ukraine crisis from a financial standpoint. “In Economics, we’re trying to follow the economic impact [of the conflict],” Nemec said. “It’ll be interesting to see the effect of sanctions. The Russian economy will be directly impacted, and it’ll be interesting how their leadership navigates,” he added.  


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