Communities At Odds About DEI in School CurriculaMay 03, 2021
Monday Kickstarters is a working session designed for everyone on the call to figure out how to have conversations worth having when faced with a tough situation, challenge, or problem. The process is based upon the book, Conversations Worth Having. You can listen live to this session on Vimeo.
Monday, May 3 we discussed (1) how to frame a conversation for a community at odds about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the school curricula and (2) how to give feedback to a boss who’s always interrupting to ask for direction and support.
Communities At Odds About DEI in School Curricula
The issue presented was: How to engage community members in conversations about integrating DEI into the school curricula when some parents really want it and others are adamant they “don’t want the school teaching my kids about LGBTQ and race!”
- Name it: Parents don’t want DEI issues being taught.
- Flip it: Parents do want (are open) to having DEI integrated into the schools
- Frame it: We teach a curriculum that makes all children feel safe and included.
This is such a beautiful example of how shifting the focus to what everyone wants for their children has the potential to transform relationships and the curriculum! If possible, having parents/community members partner with one another and begin by sharing stories can help build understanding and create bridges toward all children feeling safe and included. This is one of those times when an opening question might sound like it’s asking for negativity, however, it can be valuable for people to hear one another’s stories about their children in order to begin with empathy and then move on to a more forward looking question. For example, “Can you share a story about how your child has felt unsafe and/or excluded in school. How did it affect your child? How did it affect you?” Followed by, “If your child felt safe and included in school every day in every subject, what would be different? How might that impact your child?”
Other possible frames that were suggested:
- Create a sense of community.
- Provide the best education for all.
- DEI education to support everyone.
- An opportunity to educate the community as well as the students.
- A curriculum to teach our children to welcome differences.
- Beginning to reimagine what our children need to know about relationships.
- All families included
Participants made some valuable comments and suggestions:
- I wonder if there isn’t greater need to identify their concerns as a first step in running toward.
- Don’t use the term DEI.
- Problem seems to be how to get away from fear-based decisions.
- It’s been said: people don’t fear change, they fear “loss”.
My Boss Is Unsure of Himself and Always Interrupting Me for Guidance
- Name it: Continual interruptions to my work to help my boss.
- Flip it: Boundaries, not being interrupted to help my boss.
- Frame it: Providing generative feedback to my boss to help him learn and grow, and set boundaries for my work.
Need to give feedback to someone? Make it generative feedback. As Glade Holman says, feedback should help people learn and grow. It’s about the future, not about the past. If you’ve ever struggled to give feedback, this podcast on Doing (good) Business with Kelly Stewart (one of our CWH Certified Trainers) and Glade is worth listening to.