Last week our leadership team jump-started our journey to becoming a more inclusive and equitable organization, hopefully to the benefit of both our staff and the families we serve. All of our lead guides and administration spent an intense eight hours examining our individual and structural biases, learning more inclusive vocabulary, and discussing how to be advocates and allies for oppressed communities as part of the Organizational Transformation Workshop through The Truth and Titus Collective. It will be, in all regards, a journey as there is sure to be opportunities for continued learning, growth and even mistakes well beyond our time in the workshop. As an organization, we are committed to confronting and addressing those mistakes, embracing learning opportunities, and implementing long-term changes to our procedures and policies where necessary. Following the teachings of Maria Montessori, we’ve always strived to practice peace, inclusivity, grace, and courtesy in our classrooms and amongst our staff. We feel this workshop has been a great first step in ensuring every aspect of The Montessori School, from our HR to advertising to classroom management, truly reflects those values. 

During our time with Truth and Titus, we learned about what it means, and what it takes, to create a liberated and just society. The workshop facilitators helped us scale this goal to our individual classroom communities or administrative teams, while still keeping in mind we are always part of a larger, global community and that the actions we take have implications in both scopes. It was a truly eye-opening experience to explore the various points of privilege we could each leverage to help liberate those around us. The most useful tool, though, that we all added to our toolbox is the humility and empathy required to listen to the stories of those with identities different than or own and use their lived experiences to guide our actions moving forward. We were all inspired by the vulnerability of others on our leadership team who had the courage to embrace and share their unique identities and stories to the benefit of the whole team’s growth. 

Sadly, day two of our training was postponed due to some Michigan winter weather. We look forward to resuming our work with Truth and Titus later this month, so please watch this space for updates. In the meantime, though, our work at school, at home and within ourselves will carry on. We’ve already begun updating our HR and admissions forms to model more inclusive language around gender, race and other identities. Lead guides are working to find ways to appropriately appreciate and celebrate the many, rich cultures and traditions our families bring to each classroom community. We will also be seeking input from our staff on how to best support them and integrate the diverse perspectives they bring to our team. We are excited to begin the hard work to positively transform our organization.