Believing in You (Mom Congress Parenting Magazine Post)

When I look at your portrait-I know that your teacher has done right by you. You know that a self portrait is indeed supposed to look like you. You have many different color brown crayons to choose from to make your skin and hair just right. You have books to read, and read to you  every day with characters that look like you. Characters that allow you to picture yourself in any role you may choose to assume in your grown up form.  You my love are brown and beautiful and brilliant. You can be the president, a baseball player, an engineer, or my secret dream-a teacher-one day.

I am committed to making sure your teachers, your administrators, your bus drivers, and everyone who has the honor to know you as one of their students see you in all of your radiant glory. I have been invited to facilitate a conversation with new teachers in our district on inclusive curriculum design, and identifying our own bias in the process. I am committed to making sure in the years to come, that all our teachers have the resources they need to know how to design meaningful curriculum for all students- and not just the ones that share their own cultural, racial, or ethnic background. I believe in this school district and the highly qualified and committed educators who make it the remarkable place that it is to work and learn.

I can see you at your graduation already babe, waiting for your last day portrait standing tall and proud. You will tower above any limitations, and be beyond radiant in your knowledge of all the places you can and will go. You will know what it means to be seen.  You will look out on the faces of all your teachers past and present with the recognition that they did right by you, as a dynamic learner, leader, and young man of color.


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Leaving on a jet plane

Leaving for the airport in a couple of hours.

Was just in the bathroom crying, away from the kids. Realizing this is much harder than I thought it would be, for me. (I am not the crying in the bathroom type.  In case you hadn’t gathered that.) I have to let go of control over their world for a few days. I have so much of my identity wrapped into being their mom. Now, at the Mom Congress for a few days, not just a few hours, I will be showing up as an advocate for all kids, as a professional, as the educator and facilitator that I am. We’ll all thrive in this temporary shift, because that’s what happens when we take risks, right? Continue reading “Leaving on a jet plane”

Mom Congress Update

Momentum is building.

Here is the little piece in the local paper.

Here is the link to all of the amazing moms I’ll be working with while in Washington.

I have a lot of fear around leaving my children for two and a half days. I have never been away from them for so long. I have no reason to worry, as I have the best step-in caregivers in the world taking over for me.  Of course, as uber-planner I have lists, schedules, and back up plans in place. I have been prepping them both as best I can. Separation is loaded for both of them for different reasons. But, they also need practice handling their feelings, and learning the strategies that help them to cope. Whatever I forget to predict, and plan for is OK too. How we deal with the unexpected is a good skill to learn. Right?  Gulp.

If I am given fifteen seconds to shine there, what I hope to get across to the delegates, and the assembled guests (including Arne) would be this question; How are we reaching out to the parents of children who did not feel that school worked for them? How can we help them imagine a different outcome for their children? If our mission is to look at how to increase parental involvement in education, is that not an imperative starting point? There a few million other issues I feel passionate about.  Considering my area of expertise (as an educator, multi-racial family advocate, adoptive parent, and honorary mom of hue), focusing on ways to connect with parents who feel disenfranchised or disconnected from education in any way is where I hope to impact the discussion.

Now its your turn: If you had could have your say on the topic, what would you add? Our work, as I understand it, is to look at how to deepen familial involvement in education. What are your insights? What has worked, or not worked for you and your family? What brings you to the classroom table so to speak, or chases you away?