If all else fails, hold the baby...

Today I spent my Statewide Inservice Day at a Teaching with Purpose Conference. There is a need to have more culturally inclusive curriculum and teaching happening in the Portland-Metro area. The dynamics of the school district where I teach has changed dramatically over the last 20 years and we are trying to respond in an appropriate and culturally aware fashion.

One of the guest speakers told a story of a trip she took to an African village. She was with the Chieftess and on a walk outside of her hut had taken a picture of a group of men babysitting.

Upon taking the picture, one of the men walked over to her, wordlessly, handed her a baby, then walked away. She held the baby for hours, not sure what to do. The baby fell asleep and was eventually retrieved by a teenaged young woman. The lesson here is that the man was not worried about the baby...he had seen the house she came from, he knew that the baby was well cared for. At that moment, she was part of the village and being part of the village meant she was capable of caring for the baby...it was safe with her.

There are two main areas in my life, working with middle school students and with families whose children have MTM. Ironically, each is like a village where different skills are needed. I try to create a village where all students can learn and feel cared for. It's like I am holding the baby...waiting to get sleep! The parents know that I am there for them...creating a village of learning, creating a village where everyone has a part. In the MTM community, it is a bit the same. People can ask about their children. Responsibility is given to those who further the ideas and keep others safe. Those who are part of the lead, given knowledge.

The village must be safe...the village a place of no questions, once you are part, you can be who you are. It is about creating safety..it is about seeing others

Today I spent my Statewide Inservice Day at a Teaching with Purpose Conference. There is a need to have more culturally inclusive curriculum and teaching happening in the Portland-Metro area. The dynamics of the school district where I teach has changed dramatically over the last 20 years and we are trying to respond in an appropriate and culturally aware fashion.

One of the guest speakers told a story of a trip she took to an African village. She was with the Chieftess and on a walk outside of her hut had taken a picture of a group of men babysitting.

Upon taking the picture, one of the men walked over to her, wordlessly, handed her a baby, then walked away. She held the baby for hours, not sure what to do. The baby fell asleep and was eventually retrieved by a teenaged young woman. The lesson here is that the man was not worried about the baby...he had seen the house she came from, he knew that the baby was well cared for. At that moment, she was part of the village and being part of the village meant she was capable of caring for the baby...it was safe with her.

There are two main areas in my life, working with middle school students and with families whose children have MTM. Ironically, each is like a village where different skills are needed. I try to create a village where all students can learn and feel cared for. It's like I am holding the baby...waiting to get sleep! The parents know that I am there for them...creating a village of learning, creating a village where everyone has a part. In the MTM community, it is a bit the same. People can ask about their children. Responsibility is given to those who further the ideas and keep others safe. Those who are part of the lead, given knowledge.

The village must be safe...the village a place of no questions, once you are part, you can be who you are. It is about creating a wholeness..it is about seeing others

Once you are part of the village, you are trusted, you are connected, you are seen...after that, you might a well hold the baby...

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