39 Reasons: Reason#10 Perspectives

This story is among the #39Reasons I am running as a Trustee for Vancouver School Board (VSB). Each story is based on my experience working at the VSB for over 7 years with CUPE and PASA.

A big sigh with her head hanging heavy almost touching her shoulder

She places her papers on the table as if she were laying down her sword in surrender

“She said I did it wrong”

Meant to be an opportunity to practice presentation skills, she prepared for two nights

She decided to respond to the topic of climate change using her own experience as climate change is something she’s lived with

She wrote about sowing seeds as a community in order to minimize the risk of one family absorbing the loss of a failed crop

She found images to support the colours and shapes of crops from her home and to illustrate life without irrigation, life dependent on precipitation and the lived intergenerational knowledge of timing, careful planning, hard work and community for sustainable survival

When she told me how climate change had impacted their community, I agreed that it was a strong presentation topic and one that would leave her feeling confident in her learning experience because she was able to connect with the material in a way that would help her gain satisfaction in the process of learning something that was relevant to her

I felt responsible for her experience and couldn’t help but inquire why it was wrong

 “She said it had to be about climate change, like melting glaciers”

But that wasn’t her reality, she had never seen that before, her connection to climate change was her lived experience, something that gave her confidence when speaking, something that validated the knowledge she brought to the classroom

She fought this battle between her reality and that presented by dominant worldviews   

She continues to negotiate her experiences with those presented in the classroom, but shies away less as she gains opportunities to share her experience and be heard

We have an opportunity to engage learners in education that is reflective of multiple worldviews and the realities of the learners in the room – this type of education has the potential to inspire an educational experience that leads to being, belonging, and becoming


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