Today was our first day of new teacher training at school. While I’ve been doing this teaching thing for awhile, I’m brand new here so I get a “bonus week” of PD.
Everything was grounded in our mission and vision – so that students from South Phoenix can graduate college and become leaders in their communities. We discussed systematic racism that created an industrial South Phoenix and how decisions made long ago and those that we make daily have dramatic impacts on our students.
Consider this map from visitphoenix.com of the Phoenix Light Rail – our modern transit system.
South Phoenix is covered up by the legend. My school is somewhere around station number 2 in the key. While maps will exclude things, this is one simple example of how the system doesn’t allow students, families and community members a way out to easily interact with the other amazing parts of Phoenix and the Valley. PCA is here for a reason – to make an impact and to work to push change in the opposite direction.
After discussing this and the always informative HR sessions, we split off and went to our campuses. We spent time with students, asking each other questions and enjoying our lunch time together. As always, students were excited to see and interrogate us. 🙂
Most PD days drag on without purpose – especially on the first day back from summer break. Instead, today I felt empowered and that I was surrounded by amazing teachers and support staff and that everyone is working to achieve our vision for our students. Together, we are beginning a new page – a new mission focused journey.