We Continue To Stand

September 07, 2017

This week, every school in the STCM network is filled with children. From now through June 2018, together, we will serve thousands and thousands of kids across the city of Milwaukee. Almost 1/6 of the city’s children will be in our buildings, sitting in our classrooms under our leadership. While each school is different and developmentally in different places, there are a few important commonalities amongst of our schools:

  • they are led by people who stand for our children
  • they are led by people who believe our children deserve to be with adults who believe in them
  • they are led by people who have an unbelievable work ethic and will do whatever it takes for their students and staff
  • they are led by human beings who are insanely reflective and constantly looking for ways to get better as leaders to provide better for our students

As we employ practices for the schools of children we serve, it’s also important to remember that our impact comes from serving the individuals, not just the grade levels or school as a whole, but Dequan, Shervelle, Julio, Gabriella, Maya, Isabella, Juan, Shatasia, Mason, Malik, and Joaquin.

I cannot tell you to remember our students as individuals and not acknowledge that right now, the ending of DACA threatens those very individuals. (Click here for a brief explanation of DACA.)  Many of our students right now are living in absolute terror of not knowing what the future holds for their families and for them…not knowing if the very place they have called home will reject them, their parents and the people they love.  Once again, as the leaders of schools, we have a responsibility to acknowledge what is happening and the impact it has on students and families we serve, the teams we lead and the communities in which we serve.  Here are some resources/actions to help us push forward:

  • The UCC, in collaboration with Marquette Law School, is hosting a weekly legal clinic for families concerned with immigration status. It is every Wednesday from 5PM – 7PM.
  • We can all reach out to our government representatives to communicate our support of DACA.
  • Teaching Tolerance here has several current and useful resources that provide an understanding of what is happening with DACA and lessons to use with students to facilitate conversations about immigration and the ending of DACA

The role of schools in our society is ever-changing. Our primary focus always has to be teaching and learning and preparing our students to lead a better world than what exists right now. However, today, we must also use our voices on behalf of the children we love so much to stand with them and stand up for them as individuals…as human beings.

In the book, End of Average, Todd Rose tells the story of the US Airforce and what they learned from using “the average” to drive their practice. In the 40s, the US air force was experiencing a high number of crashes, almost daily. They needed to fix this problem and fix it fast. The crafts had been built for the “average-sized” pilot. The crashes were not the result of defects with the air crafts.  After years of investigation, they discovered that while the crafts had been built for the “average” pilot, which was established from measuring over 4,000 men, the craft actually didn’t fit any individual and the “average pilot” didn’t actually exist. The crashes were the result of building a craft that was essentially built for no one. It wasn’t until they made crafts that were adaptable to individuals who fit between the 5th and 95th percentile ranks that they saw a decrease in the number of accidents they were experiencing. The same connection is true for our students, while there are standard practices that make sense to implement, our biggest impact cannot be realized until we see and serve our children as individuals.

So as the year takes off, as we see our schools, grade levels and classrooms, let’s remember to see our individual students as well.

Standing with and for our children,

Rashida Evans

Chief Program Officer

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