This morning I sat in my office watching the Inauguration of our 46th President. There were some incredible moments that brought me to tears of joy and relief.
- Watching the first woman, who is also the first person of color, inaugurated as the Vice President of the United States of America. Welcome Madame Vice President!
- Watching the National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman perform her beautiful words with grace, dignity, and hope for the change that is needed in this nation
- Listening to the wonderful performances by Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, and Garth Brooks and feeling the words to those familiar songs deep in my soul
- Watching the new First Lady, Dr. Biden, support her husband as he took the oath, knowing that she is an educator
- Watching our new president take the oath of office, knowing that he will actually follow through on the words of the oath and the meaning of the office
Many of us were hoping that the calendar change between December 31 and January 1 would bring about change. When that didn’t happen, not in relation to the pandemic nor the political climate, we all took another emotional hit. We have been living in chronic stress for months as a world in a pandemic, years of stress as a nation in conflict, and centuries of stress for another part of our nation. People are hurting. We need change.
Today I think our nation was able to take a deep breath and let it out. This inauguration doesn’t change everything, but it is a step in the right direction. We have more work to do individually and collectively. I am so grateful to work in a system committed to doing the hard work to make systemic change on behalf of our students and our community.
This afternoon I sat in my office (I pretty much sat in my office most of the day!) participating in the San Diego County Office of Education’s virtual Equity Conference. Today’s keynote speaker was Dr. Monique Morris, a scholar I heard speak at an AASA conference about 4 years ago. She was just as inspiring today, especially in relation to the equity work we need to engage in on behalf of all students, especially our Black girls, which is the focus of much of her research. A few takeaways for me from her speech:
- Are our schools trauma-informed or trauma-responsive?
- Equity work requires that we change the institutions that are a part of the tapestry of harm
- The use of yoga and mindfulness in schools should be available to all students, considered as a return to regulation
- Is this policy/practice one that leads with love or with fear?
- Learning cannot take place without trusting relationships
- Equity is the work of dismantling systems of oppression
- A social movement that changes people and systems is a revolution
A student was quote today saying that all they want is “unity, community, and engagement” within their school. That is what we are working towards. Our students need us to be daring, need us to do this work. Tonight I will end my night watching the virtual inauguration celebrations with hope in my heart.