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Legacy?

I'm not so sure I gave the notion of leaving a legacy at a school in which I have worked a second thought. Not until a couple of days ago when such a comment was made and I have been thinking about it ever since. I'm not entirely comfortable with this idea.

The context: I was given the task of learning how to create the master timetable and determine room and resource allocation for the next school year. I doing so, I was finally about the have the freedom to move and shake things up about to create a cross-curricular Chromebook lab where all of the Tutorial and Learning Strategies courses will be taught. This class room is far away from the often looked-down-upon "Special Education wing" of the school. I thought it was important to:

1.) invest the resources in these courses in order to equip the students taking these course, who are often at risk in so many ways, with a solid set of real-world technology skills while they recover their credits, and

2.) make a statement, in a physically obvious way, that students who are at risk or who receive Special Education support are a part of the whole community, and the responsibility is collective to see them succeed, that relegating these students to a specific geographic location clearly goes against the mandate of our system.

I had proposed this to the two previous principals I worked with. They were concerned with "taking rooms away" from any department for these courses. I guess I was naive to assume that a school and the allocated resources belonged to kids and should be used in a manner that benefits them. Silly rabbit...

In my school of just over 1000, "these kids" make up nearly 25% of our population. Why wouldn't anyone advocate fiercely for them to provide meaningful learning opportunities? I'm no lone crusader by any means, but what I had to do to switch a couple of rooms around was ridiculous. I'm thinking of teacher capacity that will grow as a result of delivering these courses using only Google apps, allowing the kids to leverage what they already know to gain enough confidence to believe that they can earn credits despite their challenges.

My aim was always to shift the mindset in how resources were allocated in order to serve those whose needs were more. People often poke fun when I pull the "Jesus card", but after all, he plainly says in Matthew 25:40, "... whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it for me." This quote is at the heart of servant leadership, to serve and help those who lack the agency to help themselves.


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