I don’t love the moments of pain revealed in this article from a former colleague. But I do appreciate that, after all is said, Andrew ends with specific moves that we can practice over and over, again and again, to build the kinds of school communities that we aspire to be. Also, notice the breadcrumb trail of graceful actions he leaves for us: lean in, uphold, turn around, help, engage, and again, help.
[We] must embrace our opportunity to create a more socially just world through our students as our “why.” In the moments you might want to recoil from the difficult conversation about the racist, or sexist, or homophobic, or xenophobic language a politician or media figure used, we must instead lean in and uphold our communal norms. In the moments when a student commits a microaggression and we could plausibly deny that we heard it, we must turn around and help that child to learn through curiosity and compassion. In the moments when a colleague makes a mistake and the thought of the unbearably awkward conversation to come is overwhelming, we must engage and help that educator to be better. This work will almost never be easy and it certainly will not be perfect and yet it is by far the most promising and important work we will do in our respective institutions.