We head off this weekend for Thanksgiving. Some of you will stay put, and some of you will be traveling. Whatever you do and wherever you are, I hope you stay healthy, happy and whole. Though this break doesn't delineate anything in particular on our calendar, T1 was finished a week or so ago, and each year for many teachers it signifies a point in time. It's a time of year where daylight is waning, temperatures (even here) are dropping, which means change is happening.
There has been a good deal of commentary coming to me this year about students with ADD/ADHD. I am not an expert but I did get my training many years ago at a private, independent school for dyslexic students. Many dyslexic learners are diagnosed with ADHD too. These kids were high schoolers, students who had run out of chances in public and private schools, not because they couldn't learn in those environments, or didn't want to, but because the system and schools failed them. The kids were angry about it, and frankly, so was I.
Over the holiday break, Synapse change maker Desmond Tutu passed away. As a school, we marvelled in his service as a Nobel laureate, a champion of the anti-apartheid struggles, and his justice work with Nelson Mandela. We studied his efforts to end decades of institutionalized segregation and racism in South Africa and for heading the truth and reconciliation commission that came in its aftermath. We shared with kids that Tutu was also a vocal opponent of gender discrimination and supporter of the LGBTQ community, and his goal to mobilize people against injustice, all injustice, was always toward forgiveness and love.
Individuals have the power to drive change and inspire others to strive for better. At Synapse, this is what we think of when we conceptualize “The Power of One.” I have lived long enough now to know it’s a bit more complex, and from experience, I believe if the change the “power of one” wants is to last, it needs more than “one” individual’s involvement.