One year ago, I started a blog post on vulnerability. Here is what I had typed then, as I began a brand new role as the Assistant Superintendent for DEI:
“This fall, I begin my 24th year as an educator (What?? When did that happen??). And, I can honestly tell you that no other school opening has frightened me as much as the start of the 2019-20 school year. While I have a job description, I still don’t have a clear path forward with much of this work. After countless hours spent reading a huge stack of books about race, bias, and culturally responsive practices, attending a number of professional learning opportunities, and a lot of soul searching, I have come to the realization that “doing it afraid” means giving up the confidence that I have with a number of other elements of my position as an educational leader.”
Well, you can imagine that reading this draft from twelve months ago made me feel pretty ridiculous, given what we are facing today as we work to transition back to school right now (in the midst of a health pandemic), in what is now my 25th year as an educator!!!
This morning I had the honor of spending some time with 45 of our newly-hired educators. In our brief time together, I urged them to be vulnerable- to be okay telling students, colleagues, and families, “I’m not sure about that…” or “Hmm… I need to find out more about that.” I hope that they will model themselves as learners for their students. This attitude will be especially important as we continue our work around anti-bias and anti-racism.
As we ended our session with new educators this morning, I felt compelled to share the following post with all of our educators, but especially with our 2020-21 hires. Below is a Facebook post by author and educator Kylene Beers, someone we have had the pleasure of working with in the district for a number of years now. As usual, Kylene has gifted us with her words, and I couldn’t have expressed it better if I tried… so I won’t.