We have walked miles and miles around this campus the last four days. In our daily back and forth, we’ve developed a habit of trying a new path when we come to one, saying to each other “We’ve never gone this way before!”
It’s a pretty good metaphor for how I feel about the day’s experiences. The theme for today was Equity. The morning gathering was large, over a hundred people in one big room, sitting in concentric circles, taking turns talking about what equity and social justice in education looks like for them. Remember, these are folks from over a dozen countries and every imaginable socio-economic, cultural, racial and age group.
Every person spoke with so much personal honesty and courage. People shared their thoughts and feelings about love, acceptance, mindfulness, frustration, humility, anger, impatience, hope and perspective.
We listened. We laughed. We cried. But most of all, we thought and then thought some more about what it means in our lives and work to really stop and listen to the experience and stories of others. I am moved to think consciously about how my needs intersect with the needs of others and whether I’m truly allowing the space for relationships to develop in ways that are most honest and respectful.
What this means in the school community is a willingness to try the new route to solutions. To view who and what’s around us through a fresh lens. To never assume that I’m not making assumptions. To remember that each person is one unique piece in a puzzle that needs all the pieces equally to be complete.
The staff and families at RTG have always been open and excited to try the new and unexpected, but I’m pretty sure that we’ve never gone this way before.