I know that the strike will end, and we will resume our passion of educating children with the same rigor, compassion and artistic flare that is always employed at IAA. But what of the scars left behind? Schools and the services they provide, and the cost associated with this task, is so often such a contentious community issue. So how do we move on, with good intention, open minds and accepting hearts?
We have fully embraced restorative practices this year as a district and at our school. So it is with this frame of mind I contemplate next steps for our school, district and community. Within this turmoil, understandably, many are not considering how we heal and create cohesion after. There will invariably be ill will, hurt feelings and damaged pride. How do we recover? How do we learn from the experience? How do we heal?
I'm afraid I don't have the answers to these questions, but I hope, even before this is over, we can start entertaining them. Then, following the strike, engage all stakeholders in restorative conversations that will help us collaboratively repair any harm. My hope would be, these conversations and explorations af all perspectives, would be a proactive step in both healing our community and avoiding these unfortunate circumstances in the future.
These difficult times can become a blessing of sorts. Our children, the students of Burlington, are watching and listening. Our response and growth from all this discomfort and contention has the potential to be the groundwork for the restoration of hope, solidarity, healing and compassion for generations to come. I hope we can all exercise the strength and leadership to send our youngest community members this message.
Good luck and positive vibes to all experiencing this and may we come to a quick and beneficial resolution for all.