Our community school’s “stamp” system is genius. Red stamps, green stamps, a left stamp vs. a right stamp, a signature on the top, a signature on the bottom, parent signatures, teacher signatures. It all means something. It’s a fantastic parent-school communication tool. It covers everything from attendance to homework completion to GPA to how long a student has to stay after school and more. A six page document condenses into a tiny font front/back explanation that students go over with…Continue
It didn’t make sense to me until 2008. There was a shooting at a church in Kentucky. In a sermon months later, my minister challenged us to consider empathy in such a cruel moment, when someone was such a monster in a community.
Empathize with a shooter?
How about empathize with that feeling of not belonging, of not understanding, of not feeling safe, of feeling ostracized? While I couldn’t condone shooting because of any of these feelings, I could feel sadness for the person,…Continue
Added by Jennie Carey on November 12, 2014 at 11:11am — No Comments
I spent hours on the phone with my coordinator colleague Lua last year. I spent hours listening to her tears, seen or unseen, listening to her fatigue, the only thing keeping her in the job being the love of her students and the cause of community schools itself.
In her words, “coordinators are dedicated to a job without much upward mobility or structured forms of recognition/advancement.” And for us, it’s true. Lua has been a coordinator for four years, I have for five. We both have…Continue
“I mean, let’s be real here. Do I really care about what you do? I see you, I know what field you work in—college access, youth development, environmental justice, mental health—but do I really care about you? Do we really care about each other? Do we even know each other?”
The honesty killed me, and I…Continue
The Community Schools National Forum was a roller coaster for me. Though inspired by the vision clinics in schools, youth creating videos, teachers sacrificing it all to reform their schools, and district and state level policies supporting our movement, it was difficult for me not to be a little self conscious.
It’s hard to be new. Four years ago, new to California and a new Community School Coordinator, I found myself in a fiercely proud community that wondered who I was and what I thought I was doing at their high school. I didn’t look like many of them, I didn’t sound like them, and even when I played by the rules, I felt like everyone was waiting for me to screw up instead of lending a helping hand. They thought I was just going to be another flavor of the month in education reform. I get it.…Continue