In our last blog, we wrote about relationships that develop in schools. We discussed how the familial bond between people may stifle the growth of a staff due the stagnancy it can foster. However, in this holiday season, the other side of the family in schools needs to be heard.
This year, our school district has gone through two tremendous losses of staff members. Both times, the school district has rallied around those that were affected. Condolences were expressed in both words and actions--everyone wanted to show their support for those who were suffering. These losses were so profound because the district, as large as it is, is still a family.
In addition to the familial bonds developed over time, we also have families in the literal sense of the word. We have brothers and sisters working in the district. We have spouses working in the district. We even have a mother, father, and daughter working in the district! Some might call this nepotism but we view it as a compliment to the organization. Our district is a wonderful place for professional individuals who are dedicated to lifelong learning for themselves and for children. It is a welcoming home to those who are motivated to explore new styles of teaching, utilize the vast amount of technology to increase student engagement, and to collaborate with other professionals, whose collegiality is felt and seen in the culture of each school building throughout the district. We want our family members to be exposed to this great extended family and to be part of the continued growth of the dynasty.
This is not meant to paint a picture of Utopia. Like any family, we have the crazy “uncle” and the crazy “aunt.” Consequently, just like any family, we disagree, and, at times, we need some space between us. We make sacrifices and compromises--all for the good of the chidlren. At the end of the day, the united belief we share is that we are here to help children and to foster growth. This belief is the foundation upon which our family--blood or not--values are set.
James Yap and (my “sister” in the district) Teresa Ivey
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