This evening the Teacher Advisory Committee started our meeting by reviewing our purpose, mission, scope and sequence and Great Teaching Matters Framework, yearlong objectives, and National Equity Project (community agreements). We took time to meet someone new in the group and consider/share what it means to be a leader for equity. Many of us admitted how difficult it can be to open up with others we don’t know well. A theme was around building strong relationships within our school district which can serve as a bridge to an overall stronger community.
The group took time to share voices from the field, sharing pluses and deltas. The focus started with positive comments about the good things staff are doing in their schools. Ideas about community building and support to ALL students was a recurring theme. A noticing about the delta comments was that staff openly discussed challenges to their work vs challenges for students and families. The challenges focused on lack of support in the classroom, time to complete all the paperwork, lack of sub teachers, children exhibiting challenging behaviors vs focusing on student and family’s needs to move toward closing the achievement gap. It seems like we are always in a state of emergency. We need to stop always chasing the gap. We need to get ahead of it!
The group discussed the first 2 chapters in the book Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Zaretta Hammond. After discussing and listening to one another share information from the book, the group shared out key messages. An overall theme was that we as staff need to personally be responsible for ALL children in our community! We are a group of people who really want to make a difference for ALL children. We need to begin this work by honoring people’s truth and their lived experiences; being reflective about our practices and interactions with students and families.