Stepping out of your comfort zone is actually more comfortable than staying within it. #QuoteADay #Day309 #edchat #edu #ASCDL2L #NYSASCDSymp
Today I have the opportunity to attend New York State ASCD's annual symposium. Last year we started the conversation about poverty in schools, and this year we're continuing on the theme by expanding into instructional strategies to help educators not just identify and address it, but help those from poverty learn and lead like all other students.
Teaching students from poverty is pretty new to me. In fact, I don't intricately know much about poverty at all. While we had some money "issues" when I was growing up, and while my wife and I always wish we had more money, I've always been a middle class person, able to pay bills and make ends meet, able to put food on the table and every once in a while take a vacation.
In my teaching experiences I learned with students from primarily upper-class backgrounds. "Poorer" students were students like me, who grew up middle class. There were likely a few students in poverty, but I didn't work with them on a regular basis, and when I did work with them, I treated them like all the other students (how little I knew).
In my current leadership experiences, I see a bit of a bigger picture, but still, I work in an area that is predominately separate from deep, deep, poverty.
And what a shame that is for my learning and leading repertoire.
So, heading into tomorrow's conference, I'm stepping out of my comfort zone into an area where I am at best an excited learner, and at worst, incredibly naive.
And, I'm looking forward to it.
That's the point, right? If we're going to be active learners, we have to admit we have lots to learn, correct?
I'm excited for the opportunity tomorrow to be out of my element, and consider myself lucky to have the opportunity to leave with more knowledge than I came with, and to be better prepared to address poverty, because no matter where you live, and no matter where you work, people are struggling with it.
And that's not okay.