I was at a school recently that had just gotten their results back from a school climate and student safety survey they had done. The principal said one of the things that stood out was that 9 students who had self-identified as LGBTQ said they felt safe on campus, but not supported. It would be easy to dismiss it, but this principal was excited about opening up the conversation. His plan?Read More
I met a boy last week at a middle school who is in the transgender process. Born a female, but identifies as a male. The teacher introduced me to him specifically saying that he embodied so much of what I talked about - kindness, empathy, hope. His name is Chuck and Chuck started one of the most simple but profoundly cool groups on his campus I’ve heard of yet.Read More
I worked at Mattson Middle School in Kent, WA and one of the district employees pulled me aside after my workshop. His name was Brad. Brad said he wanted to learn about ways to sustain the message now that the speech was over. This is, of course, always music to my ears. YES! The speech is not where change happens - the speech is an opportunity for change to begin! Change blossoms when staff and students adopt the new vocabulary and new mindset that any keynote is supposed to impart. When staff repeatedly reference stories or concepts from an assembly - when they provide regular opportunities for students to reflect - the impact doesn’t disappear alongside fading feelings of inspirational stories. Impact lives on through the repeated conversations and shared vision/mindset/vernacular that stories create!
That’s why I loved Brad’s next question: “Houston, when you work at a school that is doing things right, what is immediately evident to you?Read More