SOCIAL MEDIA CONNECTION:
Click here to share your brilliance
This is a form for you to submit and share your brilliance as it relates to Cultural Resilience. We share the parameters for each category to use for reference and you share your brilliance with the world – we will submit after review
Can you imagine living with the label, “most likely to fail?” Why would a student carrying the weight of such a label want to engage in school? Can you imagine being burdened with the expectation “You can never fail?” Why would a student living with this burden wish to take any risks? These questions present all of us with the opportunity for E3 to provide a framework that values the diverse and rich experiences our students bring to the classroom, and translate these life experiences into valuable skills. We focus on the brilliance of people! How many of you identify as brilliant? If you cannot see your own brilliance, how will you see it in others? If you want your child to be seen or better yet, you want to help those students to be seen, we have tools. I invite you to connect to how we can intersect our brilliance together. From a thousand What If’s and a million obstacles, we believe in the power of the profound & persistence WE CAN & WE WILL. E3: Education, Excellence & Equity was founded in 2008 by the passion & naivety to end our systemic inequities as well as the audacity to believe we can be part of this change. Will you be part of that change to reach 3 billion people?
THE NEW NORMAL:
Global Trifecta Pandemic (Climate, Health, Social Unrest)
Click here for curated resources for your work as well as mind, body, spirit balance.
This global crisis has created a shutdown. You may have heard this quote by Einstein “We cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”. As this crisis relates to education, I am clear that this is a secondary response to the much needed support of our health workers now. At the same time, the reality for most students, especially those most vulnerable, school is the one thing that is constant providing social connection, a sense of normalcy, and even hope. Our future is dependent on what we do as educators now.
One of the best social media posts I have come across is one for everyone and one for educators. The one for everyone states, “If you are not using this time to rest, reset & prioritize your purpose and people in your life, you my friend are wasting an opportunity you may never get again. The world literally stopped and shifted. If this is torture for you, find out why.” For educators, you can read this article: The difference between emergency remote teaching and online learning.
Unless you are like me, who consistently uses a dictionary to learn a new word I hear, we all bring our own understanding to language. I am coming to appreciate how much language matters. I share this because when we use the language Distance/Online/Virtual Learning, we need to internally acknowledge that this is an emergency remote learning. In other words, this was not planned for and none of us have been trained to work virtually. Language matters because by calling it distance/online/virtual learning, we all have preconceived notions of how this should be, which takes away the opportunity for us to be present in the moment of now. Should creates a notion of expectation that eliminates us from being present to now. A more effective way to strive for excellence is by acknowledging where I am now so I am able to identify what is missing to put in place in order for it to become excellent. Instead of what “should be” consider this reflection: “what am I present to now” because pausing after disruption can be the most important next step.
I am going to assume that as many of you, we have been working on our craft dedicated to perfecting our craft. As it relates to DEI, I have planned and prepared in advance for addressing the inequities in education and I have yet to still figure out how to make equity institutionalized in education. If we have yet to master our craft as educators such that every student is able to shine in their brilliance, then imagine what is happening now in our current global crisis. As you know too well, even when everything has been planned, things will still need adjusting.
Here are some considerations for you to become more equitable & excellent in your craft:
Take care of yourself: I encourage you to find time to be still in the magnificence of silence. If you are unable to do so because of your environment, consider utilizing headphones to invite the stillness. After these moments, engage socially with your family & friends so you may rediscover human connection. Engage with your community in a creative manner.
Take care of yourself: As leaders, we pride ourselves in our craft. I invite you to reflect on the end result. Who knows how this global crisis will unfold, as a new normal will continue to form itself. One day you will reflect back when you are no longer in the day-to-day grind. I ask what fills your satisfied heart, mind & soul in terms of what your audience has learned. I can guarantee it was never just the content. The content was a means to an end. What is that end? Was it the love of learning, deepening of content knowledge in a subject, or skills you were building for the future? Once you are able to envision the end, I encourage you not to chase the what, when, how you will teach, rather allow the ideas to come to you.
Take care of yourself: I invite you to find time to reflect on the missing. Assuming you have followed the first two versions of caring for yourself, you maybe in a place to let in these inquiries. I propose that wisdom is in the inquiry not the knowing. If you have done the first two steps, you are in a place to identify the missing. I encourage you to write down the inquiries; how can I use do virtual learning more efficiently, how can I ensure that students are engaged, how do I know if students online are engaged, how can I support students with learning differences, etc. These questions are the ones to bring back to your colleagues as we are all in this together.
In this new normal, we have the opportunity to free us from the chains of perceived success measured quantity. No longer do we need to judge ourselves because we didn’t cover all the content, complete all the tasks on our To Do List, collect all the accolades to justify our being busy. We can now focus on success measured by quality! This includes the quality of relationships that are created, the quality of skills that are developed, the reflection of deepening our sense of purpose. There is a phrase that is powerful “Growth takes place in the uneasiness of the moment…be present”
DEFINITION OF TERMS
“You’re a racist!” These are words that generate many types of emotion dependent on the experiences you have had on race. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion are delicate topics because we as a society with various experiences have asserted different meanings for the same words. Unfortunately, we do not as a norm provide the time to be critically reflective in general much less on sensitive topics. For this reason, we have curated common Definition of Terms that you can review and share with your colleagues or just familiarize yourself with as you continue this journey to catalyze the brilliance in everyone! We invite you to follow the process that include various steps as a way to engage with the ongoing learning we all have to go through.
E3 READING CIRCLES
E3 Reading Circle is more than a book club, it’s a caring community. Readers gather for an experience that includes networking, self-reflection, and of course, freedom dreaming – because when great minds gather, we dream up a world more beautiful than the one we know.
E3 selects content by those who reflect on not only one’s surroundings but how they themselves are positioned to critique their environment that challenge and inspire them to be co-creators of our beloved community.
The recommendation is to gather on a weekly basis for at least an hour. During the opening of each session, ask each member to share their reflection & inquiry utilizing the Equity Empowerment Tool. By doing this exercise, all voices can be initially brought into the space and each member is able to position themselves within the social context of how they are responding to the content.
BUILDING CRITICAL CONSCIOUSNESS:
(Books, Films & Other Resources)
Below is an ever-growing collectively curated list of resources (books and films) that we helpful in supporting and expanding our growth and effectiveness as educators. Please share any additional resources/titles with us!
This is a special invitation to deepen your understanding of our humanity by acknowledging the historical & present trauma we are part of and how it manifests based on fear, anger, rage, faith, hope & love. Like any path that one takes, one is able to improve whatever one practices. What one practices also increases one’s belief and awareness. If you already believe in something, you may already be practicing the behaviors needed to reinforce your belief. The purpose of examining & reflecting on these topics is not to generate blame or shame for any one group, rather to push past these emotions and challenge ourselves to see the strength of our humanity as a result of these events and a system designed with the unfortunate consequence to destroy our humanity (More information on the Oppression Matrix can be provided). However, if we do not understand the problem well enough, we are not able to solve the problem. We need each other – those who focus on understanding the problem and those who focus on finding a solution. This is our journey. The first step that never ends is your own personal reflective practice. We invite you to consider our reflective practice tool to guide you through the readings (see visual on last page)
Whatever your professional or personal journey may be, this invitation is meant to explore the following films, books and conferences that deepen our awareness and informs our practice. If you are asking yourself where to begin, we suggest that the beginning is anywhere that peaks your interest. The following is divided into certain categories, followed by films and finally a reading list that is age appropriate. This is limited reading list but one that has guided E3 acknowledging a U.S.-centric focus due to the highly refined level of oppression.
We look forward to hearing from you with a clear intention that we can collectively increase our critical consciousness to see the brilliance in each of us!