Latino Leadership in Action

As we continue to evolve and strengthen our work within the Teacher Mentors Abroad organization, our Program Committee is currently delving into Juana Bordas’ book, “The Power of Latino Leadership ~ Culture, Inclusion and Contribution.”

During each of our meetings, we review a chapter and then engage in rich conversations focusing on how better to understand the work that we do with our Dominican educational partners. Over the past couple of years, we’ve become more aware of the need to ensure that our Canadian mentors are equipped with a broader understanding of the Dominican culture (which runs so much deeper than language, food and traditions) in order to authenticate the information that we are sharing when we work with both our mentors as well as participants at our annual conferences.

As I read each chapter, I find myself making connections to not only our work in the Dominican Republic, but also to my own leadership journey, to the point that my book is highlighted in two colours ~ yellow for our work in the DR and blue each time I draw a similarity or a “something to ponder” in relation to my current work in Ontario.  I was looking forward to seeing how our readings over the past year were going to impact this year’s “on the ground” work.

This summer, during the second week in July, one of our TMA (Teacher Mentors Abroad) teams traveled to Santiago to spend 2 days collaborating with our mentors and then 2 days supporting our mentors as they facilitated conference workshops in La Vega.

One of our newest Dominican mentors is Aslini Brito, a former Director of Education for Region 6 in La Vega. I first met him last year when he popped in to one of our planning sessions with our mentors. He seemed quite adamant about checking our translation to ensure that we had correctly captured the grammatically correct Edu jargon. Aslini was also instrumental is supporting several of the logistics which are extremely paramount when you are facilitating a conference in another country.

Aslini arrived the day of the conference and without hesitation applied a name tag and joined a group of educators as they rotated through several workshops. I was struck with the fact that he knew most of his educators by name and took the time to stop and congratulate each team of presenters. I was seeing firsthand a quote from Bordas’ book, “The warm, friendly and personable way Latinos relate to one another and the active interest they take in people’s lives reflects personalismo.”

I will share that our DR mentors were initially intimidated to have someone with his credentials as a participant. And yet as the day went on, he was truly invested in the learning. Aslini took opportunities to share his thoughts and experiences with the same amount of excitement that he exhibited when he took on the role of an animal character in a short play that demonstrated the power of differentiated instruction.

As we started our planning for this year’s conference, Aslini brought that same level of excitement to the planning table. When we opened our day with a team builder activity ~ the Spiderweb, he was intentional in capturing the visual and communicating his connections to our work, as well as the broader picture of education. Throughout the day, he shared experiences and actively listened through both our presentations as well as the small group planning sessions.

The day of the conference, it became evident that he was in his element. His love of learning and sharing of information exude from him. He was animated, friendly and authentically invited others into the learning space. I had a little moment of “awe shucks” when the team, with whom he was co-presenting, shared that he incorporated some of my description of the evolution of literacy development from listening to oral to reading to writing from the previous day with our mentors, into his presentation. A Director thought that my explanation was worthy enough to be included in his presentation 😊

Over the past few years, there has been a tradition that on the last day of the conference, one of our generous and exuberant DR mentors, Isabel, invites us to her home for sancocho. This year, Aslini and his lovely wife, joined the celebration. They danced on the makeshift dance floor beside the picnic table and joined in the festivities. Aslini was quick to offer a refill for refreshments and to help with the clean up. As I sat and took in the atmosphere, I was reminded of another quote in the book, “A leader’s credibility depends on having a reputation that he cares about others and treats everyone equally.”   If a passerby made their way up the dirt driveway, past the chickens and onto the patio stones with a large cast iron pot in the corner, over an open flame and Latino music playing from the back of a van, they would never be able to discern the difference between the individuals at the party.

It was at that moment that I knew that I was witnessing, firsthand, Latino Leadership in Action.

How Can I Help?

Black phone icon isolated on white background. Vector illustration

“How can I help?” is my usual greeting as I answer my office phone.  Most of the time community members begin their communication with us via a member of our welcome team (main office staff) and then one of our secretaries will loop me into the conversation if needed.   Other times, when I receive an email and a complex question is asked, I’ve learned that it best to continue the exchange with a phone call instead of creating an intricate email thread.  We’ve all been a victim of those email threads that tend to magically take on a meaning and tone, both of which were never initially intended. And on those rare occasions that I’m sitting at my desk, when a call comes in, I do my best to answer it directly. My goal each time is to ensure that whatever question, inquiry, or concern is raised, I do my best to answer it, solve it or at least co-construct a solution/better understanding with the caller.

Although it’s only Tuesday, this week we’ve received an unusually high volume of phone calls. I can’t help but wonder if the warm weather has created the conditions for more of our community members to be outside and enjoying both sunshine and the opportunity to connect with each other.  I recall when my own children were younger many of those neighbourhood conversations revolved around the school.

As many of you know, we’ve been in a unique position over the past year and a half as a result of our unprecedented population explosion.  Two years ago, we had 1000 students registered at Sir Arthur Currie ~ a school which was built for 525.   Our saving grace was that we were still in the midst of COVID so about 15% of our population were online learners, but the trajectory of our population growth was evident, and the Senior Team and our Board of Trustees needed to make a bold decision as we were already at our maximum number of portables allowed on a site ~ seventeen.   So, after much consultation with our community, the decision was made to close registration at our school and channel all new families to another school. A school that had open classrooms and could withstand the expected growth that this corner of the city was continuing to exhibit.   The Ministry and the Board also committed to building another school, which will be very close to our location, within the next 4 years, which will be wonderful, but in the meantime, our job has been one of supporting new families who are devastated by the news that instead of attending a school that they can see from their backyard, their children will be bussed to another school, until the new school is built.

We’ve become very adept at supporting families, some of whom strongly advocate (which is their job as parents).  Most days the front office team can effectively navigate the calls as they trickle in at various times of the year.  But for some reason, this week the volume has been high and community members have wanted to connect directly with me.

The rationale (close to 200% capacity) for the decision to modify our registration process has become easy to share ~ we’ve done it so many times and it truly makes sense.  But it’s the individual family stories that continue (even 18 months later) to tug at my heart strings.  I do my best to let families know that I hear their concern, that I, also, wish that we were in a position to welcome everyone with open arms and that I understand the stress that this is placing on families.  None of us want to be in this position.

Early this week, I had a conversation with a parent, wherein they openly and very empathically shared their frustration with the process, with their perceived lack of communication from the Board and with the Ministry (for not funding large enough schools).   As the representative of the Board when these phone calls come our way, I’ll admit that there are times when one could take them as personal attack… “Do you know the amount of stress this is causing my family?  We have no idea how we’re going to manage this situation.  None of this is fair.  We just want the very best for our child”.

It has become a significant part of my role and each time I end the conversation, I truly hope that parents know that, as a school, we’re doing everything in our power to help them.  We’ve advocated strongly for our newest families and will continue to do so.

But what was different about this call was that at the end of the day, this same parent sent a lovely email apologizing for our exchange and wanting my assurance that I understood that none of her accusations were meant to be a personal attack.  My assurance was easy to provide.

I loved that they took the time to reflect and loop back with me ~ It meant a lot.

Sometimes, those “How can I help you?” conversations end with, “I’m glad that I was able to make you smile today”. But there are other times when the only “help” I can offer is a set of listening ears, a sympathetic shoulder, and a commitment to continue to advocate for families.

Any interesting telephone tales?

Come write with me….

Kindergarten….where it all starts!

Who remembers their Kindergarten experience?  My time in kindergarten was over 50 years ago at Byron Southwood.  I don’t recall much, although I can still picture the back entrance way, the spacious coat room and I have a vague recollection of the layout of the actual classroom.   I do however, vividly recall being selected as Mary, when our class enacted the birth of Baby Jesus for a Christmas celebration.

When my own children were young, I was fortunate enough to be able to work part time which allowed me the availability to visit their classes on special days and help out with whatever their classroom teachers required. I loved waiting for them at the end of the day (they attended in the afternoon as it was pre-Full Day Kindergarten) and then hearing all about their experiences as we walked home.

For most events in our lives, its our first exposure which sets the stage.  In knowing that, as a school team we work hard to ensure that our families first exposure to Kindergarten at Sir Arthur Currie is a positive one.

Last night we held our Open House.  It’s a time for families to come to the school, visit classrooms, check out the amazing Library Learning Commons, capture a Future Coyote picture, explore the outdoor Forest of Learning and come together as the future graduating class of 2033 as they listen to an important Read Aloud.

We had our community partners from our Family Center, our Childcare Center, SWIS, and our Speech and Language Pathologist join us.

The team’s intentionality in each activity demonstrates their commitment to ensuring that families understand and appreciate the power of the kindergarten program from the outset.   As children entered the front foyer with families, they were encouraged to identify their name from the pile of name tags and then independently place their raffle ticket in a basket.

In the Library Learning Commons, families were treated a variety of games/BeeBots, books, Lego, Marble Runs etc. as children and adults alike took in this amazing environment.

In each classroom, educators where intentional in the provocations that were set out at each table.  The activities in each room coincided with the Four Frames embedded in the Communication of Learning and were labeled accordingly.

The Forest of Learning was set up so that families could explore the trails, build a bubble wand with their child, play with the naturalized materials, make a mud pie, or look for snails, bugs and spiders.

The final event of the evening was a Read Aloud in the gym.   Again, as a team we were curious as to which students could engage in the text, which ones were a bit reluctant to leave their parents’ side and which ones were demonstrating a great deal of stamina and concentration.

We selected to share the text, All are Welcome, as the message is meaningful, very timely and the core of everything that we do at Sir Arthur Currie.  We wanted both our newest students and our families to know that we truly embody the message that everyone, regardless of colour, creed, culture etc. are welcome at our school.

The beauty of a read aloud, is that you can improvise and strengthen the text as need.  So, at the end of each sentence, we added our own, “All are welcome…. at Sir Arthur Currie”.  It didn’t long for our newest Coyotes to realize that this was an interactive read aloud and they joined in.

I often wonder what education will look like for future generations.  Regardless of the trajectory of this first exposure to school, I can’t help but wonder if Robert Fulghum’s poem will continue to ring true for future generations.



All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten


by Robert Fulghum

Most of what I really need
To know about how to live
And what to do and how to be
I learned in kindergarten.
Wisdom was not at the top
Of the graduate school mountain,
But there in the sandpile at Sunday school.

These are the things I learned:

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life –
Learn some and think some
And draw and paint and sing and dance
And play and work everyday some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world,
Watch out for traffic,
Hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.

Forging Your Own Path to Benefit Families

I have such incredible respect for individuals who have the courage and determination to deviate from the known, well trodden path and carve a new trail.  Erin Porter is one of those inspirational educators who instinctively identifies ways in which we can better support our students.  In her role as a Learning Support Teacher, with responsibilities for our Kindergarten and primary students, Erin has supported a significant number of students with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and in turn their families.  She is masterful in sharing effective strategies with educators (classroom teachers and educational assistants) and stepping in to directly support students when needed.  During our team meetings with parents, caregivers and community supports, such as doctors, Erin articulates a well-crafted plan of support, acknowledging that for some of our students, those support plans shift and evolve on a regular basis.

As Erin engaged in conversations with families it became more and more apparent that there was so much information and misinformation available, that many of them struggled with the first steps to get support, how to navigate the funding mazes, access to community programs etc.

So, instead of lamenting about how challenging this journey was for our families, Erin decided to offer a service to families (in her spare time ~ evenings/weekends) where in she uncovers some of the complexities, answers questions and provides clarity and sense of calm for families who are just starting on the ASD journey.

Within a short span of time, her business has blossomed to the point where she needed to make a bold decision about how her days were going to look.  Erin loves her job at Sir Arthur Currie, but she also sees the significant need to support these families.  So, with confidence and conviction she has decided to work part time at school and part time with her own business.  She is forging a path where her passions are converging and I’m so proud of her.

If you have a newly diagnosed child with ASD or know of anyone about to begin this journey, please check out her FaceBook page and reach out for information.

Today, we had a visit from Peggy Sattler, our MPP and Sheri Moore, one of our School Board trustees.  Erin was excited to connect with Peggy as she has been a strong advocate for families as they learn how to navigate the Ontario Autism Program model and recently, on the parliament floor, Peggy referenced one of the families who has become a client of Erin’s.

Peggy was thrilled with the connection and appreciative of Erin’s work (both at the school level and within her business).  Sheri, who has a personal connection to ASD, then entered into the conversation to share another resource for young adults with ASD, Jake’s House.   Erin’s eyes lit up as she was learning about another resource that she can add to the plethora of supports that she is providing families.

That’s one of the exciting things about forging new paths; you’re not confined to traditional ways of doing things and established mindsets.   You get to twist the storyline and create your own destiny.  Kudos to Erin for shaping her storyline with passion, persistence, and purpose!

From Persuasion to Podcasting

We all have those colleagues in our lives ~ the ones who have this innate ability to persuade us to take on new challenges, to extend our own learning journey and to amplify our voice.

Back in 2014, Scott Armstrong joined our Learning Support Services team as the system principal with responsibilities for Mathematics, Science & Technology, Environmental Education and  Experiential Learning.  Our offices were side by side and we worked through a number of exciting and challenging initiatives together.  I’ve always admired his tenacity and his strength of conviction.  He has never been one to waiver when it comes to student achievement and building staff capacity.

Fast forward to 2018.  I had moved on to leading the Sir Arthur Currie School community, as Scott was continuing his exemplary leadership at the system level. We maintained close contact as he would occasionally pop in with a Diet Coke, a smile, and the latest updates.  Then one day, I received a phone call that started with, “Suzie, I need your help” and by the end of the conversation I had agreed to join TVACE  (Thames Valley Advisory Committee Elementary) as the secretary with Scott as one of the Co-Chairs.  We talked about shifting the culture to a format where our principal colleagues could come together, learn about system initiatives, and have the opportunity for input on system initiatives.

Next week will be my last TVACE meeting as the secretary and I’m proud of the work that’s been accomplished as a result of the leadership of numerous co-chairs over the past few years and the contributions of our system superintendents. The tone is positive, the agenda is focused on relevant issues and our colleagues feel “heard” as we tackle challenging topics. Our presenters are transparent and truly value the input of this group.  In hindsight, I’m so glad that Scott reached out and persuaded me to join him on this journey as I would never have explored that avenue on my own.

Not one to sit still, even in his semi-retirement, Scott once again has reached out with an idea. “Hey Suzie, now that you’re retiring, let’s do a podcast!”

I can only imagine the conversations that we’d have.  There are topics that we aggressively agree on and topics that we have varying and differing views on.   And who would even tune it to listen to us??

And yet in pure Scott fashion, he has already shared this idea with a few of our colleagues and they seem very excited.  So, it’s back to exploring another new learning path for me. I’m now listening to podcasts in conjunction with my audiobooks, searching online for the latest podcasting equipment and making a list of potential ideas.

Stay tuned….

Do you have a favourite educational podcast?

Come write with me…

It’s All in the Editing

As I’ve shared before, one of my guilty pleasures is reality TV.  Survivor, Big Brother and The Voice are the three that I tend to get caught up in as the season progresses.  I love that there are few staff members who also confess to watching these shows and we get into some animated conversations about the challenges, the contestants and the composition of each episode.  As we all tend to watch at various times (as a result of work schedules, bedtimes for young children and sharing the remote) there is an unwritten rule that we can’t discuss an episode until everyone has watched it.  We tend to have our favourite characters and those that we question their motives.  We dissect the competitions and applaud the physical strength that some contestants display.  We’ve all agreed that the “under a steel grate” water competition in Survivor is one that is beyond our tolerance.  We’ve all admitted to wondering out loud to our family members, who may not be fans, why a contestant made the move that they made or voted a way that they did.
We are all quite aware that the lines of reality are certainly blurred in these shows and that the camera crew is close by, which can’t help but influence what is said and what is used within the 42 minutes of actual episode time.

Recently we’ve started to discuss the power of editing on us, as viewers.  Editing has the potential to keep the audience intrigued with sequencing and purposefully placed interactions between the contestants.  There have times when I’ve rewatched the beginning of an episode to see if there were clues as to whom would be voted off at the end of the show.  With these reality shows, editors have 24 hours each day to capture footage and then recreate a montage that is TV worthy.

If schools had cameras running 24/7, capturing everything that occurs in a day, I wonder what would make it to a final cut.   Would that final cut be based on your intended audience?

What would be most meaningful for the families of our students to view?  I imagine they would want to see their children being kind, playing with peers, exceling in class, being respectful to the adults that interact with them.
What about colleagues in other schools?  I imagine that they would enjoy seeing exciting and unique learning activities that they could represent in their own classes.  Or maybe seeing a colleague struggle with an interaction would give them a sense of understanding and compassion that we all have those challenging days.
What about our Senior Team ~ those individuals who make decisions about funding, programming options, human resource allocation?  I imagine that they would like to see the impact of their decisions.  Did they place the most effective admin team in a school community? Are the seeing the intended outcomes of their funding decisions?
What about our own families?  I know that by the time I get home at the end of the day, my husband is very authentic in his interest as he asks, “So how was your day?”.   My response is usually, “Awesome as always” or “Another busy one”.  It is rare that I debrief the day.  I imagine they would want to see us enjoying our days at work and knowing that we are surrounded by a school family who takes care of us when they aren’t there to take care of us.


But alas, our lives in schools are not digitally captured, although there have been days when I felt like we were on an endurance challenge and dodging the opportunity for Jeff Probst to say, “The tribe has spoken”.

Strengthening Community Trust

One never knows what awaits on the other end of a phone call from a community member.  This past week, a distraught parent called to inform us that their child, in grade 7, had been a victim of unwanted advances from a community member. Fortunately, the student’s brother interceded before the student was harmed. The parent’s intention in notifying us was twofold.  She wanted us to remind the community to have conversations with their children about “stranger danger” and that if anything happens to tell families directly.  In this situation, the child disclosed that this was not a first offence for this community member.  This parent also wanted our educators to have conversations with our student population about consent and ensuring that our students know that they have a voice and can say, “No!” and to go and get a trusted adult as soon as possible. I assured her that we would do both and we did.  I notified the community and asked staff to ensure that they found an opportunity to have that all important conversation.

As I exited my office and made my way to the offices of our VPs to inform them of the phone call and our next steps, about ¼ of one of our grade 7 class was making their way into the main office.  They were looking for a space to read, as their parents had requested that they be exempted from the Human Development and Sexual Health unit.

I recall being in Toronto in August of 2019 when PPM 162 was released ~ This memorandum is the Exemption from Instruction related to Human Development and Sexual Health Expectations in the Ontario Curriculum: Health and Physical Education, Grades 1-8, 2019.  The streets were lined with individuals with placards, criticizing the updated curriculum.

As a school board, we started to implement the procedures as outlined in the PPM (parameters associated with notification and exemptions). But as COVID became a reality and learning shifted to online for the next couple of years, exemptions were more easily implemented.  Students simply did not join while the learning within that Health strand was occurring.  Educators were concerned as they truly believe that all students need to be exposed to all the expectations with the curriculum document.

Now that we’re back to in-person learning, we are navigating the paperwork and the supervision plan ~ all the while still deeply committed to believing that all students would benefit.

Back to the students in my office…. Ironically, the lesson that they were missing was focusing on:


explain the importance of having a shared understanding with a partner about the following: delaying sexual activity until they are older; the reasons for not engaging in sexual activity; the concept of consent, the legal age of consent, and how consent is communicated; and, in general, the need to communicate clearly with each other when making decisions about sexual activity in a healthy, loving relationship.

The objectives within this expectation are exactly what this parent was asking us to do ~ and yet ¼ of our families (in this case) are intentionally withdrawing their children from class.

As we continue to grow as a school community, my hope is that we can strengthen our conversations with our families to ensure that they truly understand the intent of the learning and the importance of having their children exposed to these concepts by a caring, compassionate educator. I believe that so much of this comes down to trust.  We want our families to trust that we can effectively and respectfully teach these concepts without undermining any religious or cultural beliefs.

Would love to know how your school is navigating PPM 162.

Come write with me…


In describing the last 24 hours, memorable bookends may be the most fitting description. Last night, our local OPC hosted the May general meeting, elections, as well as scholarship recognitions and retirement celebrations. I was honoured to be included with 12 of my colleagues as our contributions over the years were acknowledged. As I made my way to Stoneridge for the festivities, I could not help but recall the first time I walked into the Thames Room at our Board office in August of 2004. I was a newly appointed Vice Principal and nervous about absolutely everything (what to wear, an appropriate time to arrive, where to sit, what was the day going to bring) ~ very reminiscent of the first day of high school…LOL. As I walked into the large gymnasium, filled with round tables and hundreds of chairs, scanning the room, trying to look confident, I was relieved when my new Principal partner motioned me over, as she had a seat for me. I have never forgotten how she saved me that day and in moving forward, I extended the same “saving grace” to all of my subsequent admin partners.

Fast forward 19 years and once again, I find myself walking into a room of my esteemed colleagues. But this time with a sense of admiration, respect, and love for many of them who have been guiding forces in my career. A senior team that I know well and have counted on for support and guidance (and once or twice a shoulder ~ or a kick in the butt when I needed a dose of confidence). Most of them entering administration after me ~ but gracious enough to allow me to be a part of their leadership journey. This time it was for the last time, and I was so thrilled that my current VP partners (who have become close friends) were there with me, “saving me a seat”!

Six years ago, during our first year as a school family, for our spring Professional Learning Day, as staff, we decided to take advantage of a day to enjoy a meal together. We selected the Mandarin restaurant, which serves an extensive, delicious buffet. A lunch option that allowed us to maintain the learning agenda, as well as the 45 minute lunch time expectation. It is a quick 3 minute drive from our school! That spring, I was newly back from a February skating accident where I had shattered my femur. I recall that my VP partner was my chauffeur as I was not authorized to drive yet.

As we were finishing, a few of my team members had shared with the restaurant serving crew that it was my birthday (shhhh…. not really) and much to my surprise out came a large sombrero, a cake with a candle and a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday. I’m pretty sure my face resembled the red sweet/sour sauce that accompanies the egg rolls.

On subsequent PD Day lunches, this became a Currie Crew tradition ~ whether we were at Jack Astor’s, Kelsey’s or we brought in lunch. I enjoyed multiple birthday celebrations! Our team loves to make me smile and blush simultaneously. Unfortunately, with COVID restrictions over the past couple of years, we have not been able to enjoy a “family” meal.

But today, almost our entire team chose to return to the Mandarin for a family style lunch.  Kudos to the Mandarin staff, who had it down to a science as we were in and out within 45 minutes 😊

And as you can imagine, once again out came the cupcake, the candle, and a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday!

As the singing faded and the photos were captured, I started to hum the song that was a part of last night’s OPC celebration ~ Trace Adkins, “You’re Gonna Miss This.”


You’re gonna miss thisYou’re gonna want this backYou’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fastThese are some good timesSo take a good look aroundYou may not know it nowBut you’re gonna miss this

The 24 Hour Rule

Once again, the 24-hour rule brought clarity and a more focused sense of purpose for this post.  Yesterday at this time, I was managing a mixture of emotions which included shock, sadness, and frustration. We were on the eve of May 17, International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia and I found myself navigating emails and phone calls from community members.  Some of the communication was information gathering. They were wondering how we were going to celebrate this day whose focus was to recognize hate against marginalized individuals.  I love that our community feels comfortable enough to call and seek clarification and my hope was that our explanation led to families feeling assured that our messaging was going to be one of love, unity, diversity, and inclusion, which are the core values that we weave into our learning activities on a regular basis. But some of the communication was less about gathering information and more about dictating what we could and could not expose their children to.  Hence my dive into a narrative wherein most of my sentences started with, “How could they……, Really?  We are not trusted??……, With all that we’ve done in terms of cultural celebrations/education….”  Upon reflection/rereading and 24 hours, I determined that this narrative was not going to bring about change and hence it will live in my drafts for a very long time.

My mistake in all of this was that I was taking this personally.  It wasn’t until I received a text message from a staff member tonight, thanking me for how we handled the day, that I realized that this should never have been about my personal feelings.

This staff member captured it beautifully when they shared how difficult today was knowing how much they love their students but that some of their families hate people like them and are intentionally passing on that hate to children.  They were also disappointed (as were all of us) that so many families decided to keep their children home today.

I was so wrapped up in my own emotions about the families who were condoning homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia, that I didn’t place my energy where it needed to be ~ on those who needed my extra love and compassion.   Today was a day for them to feel heard and seen and for the rest of us to recognize that they live each day knowing that someone hates them, based solely on who they choose to love.

I may not be able to impact the views/believes of all of our families, but today was a good lesson about where best to focus my love!


To Post or Not to Post

Today, as soon as I got home from school, my fingers flew over the keyboard as I crafted a lengthy post.  It reflected parts of my day that struck both a personal and a professional chord.  As a school community that has not only embraced but exuded diversity, inclusion, and equity it took me by surprise when we started to receive emails and phone calls about the upcoming May 17th International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.

After rereading the epic, I decided that I needed to wait and see what the actual day brings before posting it.  Sometimes we’re quick to make judgements and assumptions about how individuals will rise to any occasion. I want to trust that all the work that we’ve done to weave the values of kindness, acceptance, respect, and love into our day-to-day practice will be enough for families to trust that we will navigate May 17th as it should be recognized.

There are times when writers compose for public consumption and times when we pen our thoughts for personal purposes.

Check back tomorrow to see if tonight’s ramblings/rant make their way to Day 18’s entry.