It’s been a whillleee since I’ve taken the time to create and engage but I’m back and I’m hoping better! In the past 6-ish months, I have had some great miles stones and they are amazing. I am a full-time graduate student at NYU Silver School of Social Work on the advanced standing track. I mention the advanced standing track to let you know that this thing is kicking my butt! But honestly, in the past 6-ish months, I have been able to reflect and honor a lot of what Undeniable Grace is and will eventually become.
I currently am placed at a public middle school in the Bronx area as a social work intern and it has been one of the most eye-opening experiences I’ve had within the Department of Education and in the social work field. In various ways, I have seen the levels of damage that can be done and the lack of awareness of the damage and cause of such damage. Quite frankly, I was very concerned for what schools would look like post-pandemic as well as the lives we lead. Teachers, students, families, administrators, and staff have endured the roughest year and change ever. It’s almost impossible to imagine a world that doesn’t have even the slightest crimp in its side. Now, I am not writing to talk about the devastation of this pandemic but rather question what is the light at the end of the tunnel and when will we all walk through it? This is definitely an opinion piece and will suggest that I am writing to one audience but rather engage in an authentic conversation, so to speak.
With that being said, I have seen some amazing strides entering this year, and I applauded many for standing even when the rushing waters came crushing against them. I for one have buckled and am now coming up for breath.
Thinking about education and the idea of transformative practice, I think about my students. I think about what exactly the point of education is to a student who goes home to chaos, or a student who has to assist their Spanish-speaking parents or even the student who is too poor to have access to the internet in this new remote society. It has been a deep awakening to me as an educator and as a social worker to what it means to be providing a service that is for the students and their families. Whether it is providing restorative justice services, or leaning on a strengths-based approach, I find myself asking over and over again, “Are you okay? How can I support you?”. So I ask myself what is the light at the end of this tunnel? My answer really comes down to this, hope. This is super cliche but one thing I’ve learned working in schools but even just emerging from a time of isolation, not having hope will break your ability to empathize, your ability to have insight, and your ability to be effective. Many of us are entering new fields or being reintroduced to a field that has shifted from what we knew. The only thing that has kept me above sea level is hope, hope that we will the change that can shift generations after us.
My kids are my hope because even in this very traumatic style of education, they are still showing up! I have hope that to get through the rest of this school year we need just a bit more hope.
Undeniable Grace will be hosting its second food drive!! Any support would be amazing! Be sure to check out our apparel at https://www.bonfire.com/store/undeniable-grace-apparel/
Much Love Always!!!