Students and teachers and all in schools deserve to be safe. It seems on this we all agree. How is the question where the agreement shreds.
One of the best ways to tap into young people's advocacy and activism is to engage with them early and often about current events generally. Young people read the headlines and hear the sound bites. They want to be part of the conversation, and should be.
We cannot allow this mixing of fact and fallacy about special education and discipline challenges to hang in the air without speaking out. We must be both ethical and active.
Nikolas Cruz: No one ought to be surprised that his mind turned to violence and to aggression. In November, his adoptive mother died. Of course, that was a trigger but he was 19 and no intervention system was following him.
Collaboration and careful listening to all stakeholders is a central skill of a successful leader.
Guest blogger Jacob Lewis says, "I think sometimes the manner of communication creates a disconnect between teachers and students. There's no way language can communicate what it's like to think with my brain or to view an idea or concept exactly the way I do."
Schools have no business judging children or their parents for behaviors we don't understand. Most educators find it their professional responsibility to discover why children don't meet expectations.
We have a responsibility as educators to know and understand what is happening and provide an opportunity for our communities to learn and understand, and most importantly, create an awareness and understanding in the youngsters in our charge.
It is the one-sided approach to curriculum that allows the avoidance of helping students understand the experience of 'the other'. It is in these lessons that the power to effectively change the way people think and act toward each other exists.
Guest blogger Thomas R. Guskey says, "Grading and reporting are more of a challenge in effective communication than simply a task of quantifying data on students' performance."