Stay in the Discomfort
It is imperative that we stay in discomfort. Discomfort is a feeling of anxiety, uneasiness, and embarrassment. We must acknowledge this feeling and learn from it. Embracing discomfort is a form of compassion, learning, and honesty. Discomfort is a sign of something happening. Pay attention to the feeling. Do not fight it or feed it.
A recent article highlighted how the people who have historically experienced power, privilege, and comfort in independent school communities are now feeling uncomfortable with the way these schools are educating their kids. Independent schools, many of which are founded on serving and educating white males, are now serving very different communities. Schools need to change when their communities change. The curriculum needs to change. Approaches need to change. The distribution of resources needs to change and so much more.
What can schools do?
- Schools need to move forward with their decisions and stay the course.
- Stay in your discomfort as well. When you stay in discomfort, you are inviting meaningful growth and change into your institution.
- Ground yourselves in your missions and your DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) statements.
- Center your students and their growth.
- Know that these challenges are what you should expect when you make intentional changes and raise collective awareness. This is part of the process.
Many people are uncomfortable with a loss or lessening of privilege that has historically made them feel comfortable and powerful in their communities. Embracing discomfort makes us stronger. It’s a simple act of compassion for ourselves and others. As Luvvie Ajayi tells us, “Keeping things the way they’ve been is comfortable, and all comfort has done is maintain the status quo.” Do you want the status quo, or do you want change?