#1: Responsibility to make change

I am the one who hates to see people complain about an issue without doing anything to change it. In this way, I am also sometimes (though as little as I can help it) a hypocrite (but who isn’t? Also: does that really excuse me?). I’ve worked a lot over the past few years with people actively working to improve our education system, and in that aspect I’ve found a community of people who can look at a complicated, institutionalized system that no longer fits our world and have the courage to change it, little by almost immeasurable little. This has been inspiring to me, and it also influences what I’d like to focus on: equity in education in Vermont (perhaps more accurately, inequity in education in Vermont). We have an incredible system of driven individuals with good intentions, but we also have systems in place that put some people at an inherent disadvantage for receiving the most valuable education they can and learning the skills to advocate for themselves and become global citizens. That said (and in as lofty a way as possible, apparently) I need to refine this field and understand my own strengths and limitations. I am incredibly lucky to have the agency to speak out for myself, and with that comes a responsibility to make the most positive change I can.

Much of this may come in the form of writing–I am not always the most eloquent or articulate speaker, but given sufficient time to develop something, it is one of my skills. That said, I have a long way to go–one of the biggest things I’ve learned in regards to writing is how much I still have to learn (just in case this scattered entry isn’t already an indication of that), and I think one of my focuses this year will be not only refining my writing process but learning new ways to communicate outside of the written word. The more mediums I’m comfortable with, the better.

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Profile photo of Clara Lew-Smith
Clara Lew-Smith

2 Responses to “#1: Responsibility to make change

  • Clara:
    My name is Ben, and I’m an English teacher at Middlebury Union High School. We met briefly at the kickoff, but I look forward to getting to know you better as the know more as the year goes on. I’ll be one of your blog readers and will post some questions and comments about Blog #3 sometime early this week. I hope you’re having a great weekend and enjoying this beautiful weather.

  • Stacey Mitchell King
    9 months ago

    Hi Clara,

    I am Stacey Mitchell King, a teacher from Columbus OH. I signed up with Tim to shadow your posts this year. I have found some profound thoughts on your blog. Clara, you said, ‘I am not always the most eloquent or articulate speaker, but given sufficient time to develop something, it is one of my skills. That said, I have a long way to go–one of the biggest things I’ve learned in regards to writing is how much I still have to learn.’

    I completely agree with you. In person, I have no access to eloquent and academic language. I need time, and even then, I need to use the synonym finder.

    As for the driven individuals with good intentions, what do you think about making sure those same individuals allow for creativity in all learners? I sometimes feel that I am imposing my views on my students–any ideas about how to keep this from being an issue.

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