Upon listening to the podcast of my last post’s discussion, I realized I focused on just part of the path outlined in Restorative Restart: The Path Towards Reimagining and Rebuilding Schools Report. I discussed actions taken by my district and campus to taking action steps.
Last February, my district had a professional development day that invited educators to facilitate sessions centering on their interests and passions. Educators were able to experience podcasting, yoga, walkabouts, Zumba, painting, karaoke, and so much more. It was an intersection of who we are outside of the classroom and how sharing these interests may deepen connection with our content but more importantly with our learners and colleagues.
Our campus has Flex Fridays. These days are a break in our regular schedule. Learners are able to choose their own schedule based on need and interest. Facilitators offer intervention sessions for learners who may need to make up work, get extra help, or even collaborate with others not in schedules classes (think across grade levels and content). We can also require sessions for outside speakers, field trips, or work time. Other than that, sessions can appeal to the interests of both learners and facilitators: chess, cooking, trivia, Super Smash Brothers, board games, walkabouts, yoga, music, art, photography, film, etymology, book clubs, grammar games, etc.
Both the district PD and the campus flex Fridays are steps taken in the path to a restorative restart:
- Action Step 2: Create dedicated time and space for relationship building and reengagement.
- Action Step 6: Create an individualized action plan to meet the whole child needs of every student.
- Action Step 7: Pair students with high-dosage tutoring.
- Action Step 8: Provide mental health supports.
- Action Step 9: Offer expanded learning opportunities.
But what about the other action steps? In particular, have I embraced the challenge of “prioritiz[ing] racial equity, relevance, and rigor in curriculum and instruction? More steps taken in the next post.