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Listening, Learning…. and then Growing.

February 19, 2020

When working on issues of equity, we must listen with intention. Taking the time to listen to learn is critical. However, just hearing the concerns is rarely sufficient. Listening and learning are, quite literally, the least we can do. As families and students have shared what they need from the school and its administration, we have responded by listening.  That listening is appropriate and a needed first step.

Over the past few weeks, I have listened more genuinely than ever before. I have learned, and honestly, I have felt overwhelmed. These conversations have left me with more questions than answers. I have been spurred to want to know more, hear more voices, and seek positive solutions.  

 Over the next two weeks, Saline Area Schools will hold 5 Listening Sessions. I, along with other district administrators, hope that many different voices will present their experiences and their stories. We invite you to attend, or if you’re unable to do so, to share your thoughts digitally.  We have created a form for this purpose that will be shared at the first session.

We anticipate learning a great deal from these sessions, from the other groups with whom we have met, from the students, and from each other.  However, learning requires passive participation and exposure. The matter of creating inclusive spaces involves action. We can learn, but more importantly, we also need to act upon those concerns and grow.

Growth is active. This work is difficult but intentional.  Growth means opening up the collective and stereotypical mindset to opportunities for action. Growth means hearing painful realities, harsh feedback, and embracing the urgency to improve.  Growth means recognizing our shortcomings and seizing the opportunities to improve until we get it right. We welcome the challenge.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Jennifer Flynn permalink
    February 19, 2020 5:36 pm

    This is great! Thank you. This is so important, and the words needs to get out. Please consider calling your parents school wide with this important message & invitation. Those calls get our attention, and will likely get you more participants.

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