Lending a hand
I’ve been hard at work at both jobs. Some of my projects have been stalling out, but others have been getting traction.
The menstrual initiative we pushed through the New Westminster school board started off on a slow burn then took off; I’ve had many discussions about how we’re looking at what a public school can do differently, and I’m amazed how great others have been at listening and initiating changes in their own surroundings.
I learnt a few things myself along the way:
a) Make space for people who are trying hard to get in and be heard. There’s a time to kick open doors, and a time to hold them open for people who are persistently knocking, and I’m so glad our district held space for both Dr. Tribe and the United Way.
b) Listen deeply to people challenging the status quo. We can’t change our environments of learning for the better if we keep doing what we’ve always done. I admit, it is hard to look at the past critically and challenge old norms, but if we don’t act to make things better, nothing ever moves forward.
c) Keep students at the center of our decision-making. I keep telling my friends, I’m championing ideas that are unpopular but make SO much sense for a student in our buildings; at this rate, I’m probably never going to get re-elected, but if that means better outcomes for even one more student in my district, this whole venture was absolutely worth it.
To finish up, I’m posting pdfs of my last two “speeches” on the menstrual initiative making the media rounds right now. I do this for two reasons,
i) I want to share the content; bits and pieces of these talks have made it out there, for which I’m grateful, but here is the whole deal in case anyone was curious. One of these was at a civic governance forum as an emerging issue, and the other was at a press conference a delegate from our board was asked to attend.
ii) I want to share the process. Technical speeches are my jam, I love unveiling engineered solutions like a mystery. Non-technical speeches keep me up at night!!! I now picture telling my work-friends what I want to say, then edit for clarity. Finally, just like how my amazing Grade 12 English teacher taught me, I high-light what to emphasize when I actually talk.. I’m not saying I’m the best at this, but I am getting better and I want to share the journey with others, in case speeches keep them up at night too.
I’m going to keep listening, learning and holding out an ink-stained hand to help; please could you to do the same? Thank you!