While scholars were sent off to enjoy the winter break, teachers and staff stayed on campuses a few extra days to prepare for the new semester and come together for Hiawatha’s third network day of the year.
Network days at Hiawatha Academies are a great way for teachers and staff to look at our progress towards network-wide goals and receive professional development related to our priorities.
The theme of our third network day was choosing optimism, one of Hiawatha Academies organizational values. As part of this theme, the network created opportunities for collaboration across campuses through joyful experiences, powerful ideas, and collective action.
A few highlights of the event included powerful remarks by a Hiawatha scholar and by our keynote speaker, Calvin Terrell. Mr. Terrell engaged our network in conversations regarding race, diversity, intersectionality, and eliminating race-based disparities in education. Teachers and staff had the opportunity to reflect and learn new pedagogical strategies that affirm all peoples and generate courageous collaborative learning spaces for 21st-century scholars.
In addition to a strong focus on equity, reading, content team time, and differentiated professional development, teachers and staff had the opportunity to listen to Daeveon Wilson, a 9th-grade scholar at Hiawatha Collegiate High School. Daeveon has been at Hiawatha Academies since Kindergarten. He closed our day by sharing his perspective on life, high school, and optimism. “I feel like when the school improves, we all improve”, said Daeveon. “I don’t want others to be surprised when they see this black kid succeed. I don’t want to go higher than anyone, I want to bring everyone along with me to the top.”