Denali - "The Great One" Courtesy of Geri Benshoof - Beta Chapter
A Greeting From President Amy
I used to have a clear idea about who I was and what I was doing - a rhythm. COVID in our school place has us on a bungee cord daily: who is here, who is not, who is positive, who is close contact, who is on Zoom today, who is slipping through the cracks. Years ago, in 1971, there was a book called The Geranium on the Window Sill Just Died but the Teacher Went Right on Teaching. I don’t remember much about this book except it reminded us as teachers to pay attention to our students as small humans, to be kind, gentle and respectful and to give them hope. There is tremendous power in a child’s life in being a teacher. The book stuck with me in my 52 years in education. I started teaching in 1969 in Jackson Hole at Wilson School to the smell of purple dittoes. I teach now with the luxury of instant online knowledge.
So this is a way of introduction to your new State President, here I am Amy Ellen Trimble-Budge in her COVID style Willy Nelson braids and many organizational skills learned from being in SPED since 1972, except for Parliamentary Procedure in which I will need support. I have been in Alaska since 1972 where I taught in Ketchikan for two years before moving to Homer. I had just completed my MEd at Utah State with a certification in Special Education-students with emotionally handicapped. I taught at the Homer JR SR High School for two years and then was a Program Director for our Gifted and Talented Program for four years. I started contract work with SRA traveling around the state training teachers in what became Reading Mastery. I loved this because I was able to go to places like Barrow, Old Harbor, Valdez, Fairbanks, all places with amazing teachers. I also taught part time for the University of Alaska SE. I have been a Charter member of DKG Omicron since 1994. I love this organization; understand the fatigue that is driving teachers out of our ranks in droves, and grieve the loss of new teachers coming into the field. Our chapters are suffering because we flourish in a face-to-face venue with good food and that is the rub. We are forced into isolation. I was a girl scout all my youth so I promise to do my duty to our organization the best I can and with support.
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15 Tips for Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Organization
Shared by attendees at What is DEI? What is all the fuss?
Dr. Elizabeth Tarner, Virginia State Organization
Carol Linscott, Washington State Organization
Beverley Johns, Illinois State Organization
1. Operate under the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging so that they are all in place.
2. Be a leader on boards and committees, apply for scholarships, break down barriers, and eliminate stereotypes.
3. Schedule programs on a sense of belonging and inclusion. Questions may include the following:
· How does a chapter adapt to different members?
· Do new members have to adapt to the chapter?
· What practices within a chapter are exclusionary and which are inclusionary?
· Can chapters work to identify those practices and then create a goal to change one thing?
· Why is it important to examine implicit biases?
4. Use images and photos of persons who represent multiple cultures to avoid stereotypes.
5. Be courageous and speak up when things are not right and are not acceptable.
6. Open membership to diverse women and create more exposure to diversity.
7. Prepare activities to meet the needs of other members and not just those on the Board. Ask members for their expectations and needs. Planning groups tend to plan for what THEY like rather than what others would like.
8. Open the eyes of everyone. When people see a person in a wheelchair, they sometimes tend to see the obstacles rather than the opportunities. See the person first and not the disability.
9. Develop a position statement on diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging.
10. Recognize and leave implicit biases at the door.
11. Expose teacher cadets at high schools to DKG now. Younger teachers are feeling threatened by school boards and parents and are leaving the profession.
12. One chapter was asked by a collegial member, “What is DKG’s policy on equity?” How does one answer that question?
13. Find the treasure in the varied backgrounds of others.
14. When members ask how they can help, identify a task for them to do to feel valued. Be mindful that members are identified as “active members.”
15. Create a Learners' Forum where each person speaks on their passions.