Acquiring an Equity Vernacular

People label others all the time. Labeling is a tool we use to help us grapple with difference and with our environment. Our labels can also influence what we see. The long-term consequences of labeling a child “smart” or “slow” can be profound. Labels that have to do with ability, class, race, or skill often shape the expectations of educators and can have lasting effects.

The Power in Positive Communication

I realize that in order to see the type of teaching, learning, leadership, and support that I want to see in schools and across our district, I have to paint a portrait of what it looks like using expressive, asset-based language that builds upon the current strengths of employees and reinforces their existing foundation of knowledge and skill. Using clear, powerful, and uplifting language takes a great deal of practice and awareness, and doesn’t necessarily come naturally to me. Therefore, I spend a great deal of time reflecting about my word choice in order to improve.

Taking a Risk in Leadership Soup

The term ‘soup’ is also an abbreviated play on words for my present job title, “supt.”. I currently serve as the superintendent of the Casa Grande School District. In this role, I have the opportunity to set the tone for the teachers, staff members, students, and families. I get to focus on their happiness, fulfillment, and success. I am able to build confidence and create a learning environment where all feel a sense of belonging and connection.