This summer, after my generous friends made it possible for me to attend the Quiet Institute in New York City, I found myself in the midst of some huge life changes. Most notably, taking leave from my job to finish a book I had started. Second, to start a second book. WHY AM I A GLUTTON FOR PUNISHMENT?
What I learned at the Quiet Institute was enormously helpful had I remained in a school building and I've been wondering how that would transfer now that I've created Being Black at School, an initiative to move the needle in a big way in American schools. It's a lofty goal but one that gained momentum quickly once I decided to develop it. Perhaps my favorite part of the institute itself came in meeting other school administrators who value the whole child and aim to engage those quiet, introverted learners in the classroom.
Except, now I'm not near a classroom save for the consulting I'm doing. Most of the other consulting is local and, strangely enough, not with schools but with churches who also value Black lives and hope to be better Christians. This is happening with some Catholic churches and one Unitarian church locally. It's also helped me work on the healing I needed after experiencing so much institutional gaslighting for the last several years. For me, right now, I am in my own Quiet as I create.
My view when creating a quiet space to write. It's just outside my window and it's glorious.
So, what is the Quiet Institute update for this month? For starters, it's the montly check-ins I have with a career coach provided by Quiet in order to this work, albeit in a non-traditional educational setting. They've been extremely accomodating to me and one other person who also changed jobs after this summer. It's mostly working towards speaking engagements, coaching for speaking, and personal check ins for how I can evaluate my work. It's actually not that hard to weave these two, seemingly opposite, threads: introversion and being Black. It still aims true for the whole child and for reflecting on how educators can see children for what they are and not our expectations of them to be homogenous in their beings.
More soon, but for now I'm following the pattern of NaNoWriMo to complete the book I've started for BBAS and have 50,000 words completed by the end of the month which is also when I'm expecting a grandbaby.
Lots of things to birth in November. Here's to beautiful things being born.