Friday, February 26, 2016

Black History is all of our History

"Dr. King shouted “Free at last, free at last . . . “  And his dream of a promised land did come to pass. The sit-ins, the marches and the demand for equal rights were necessary for those freed in darkness and deprived of light."  –Latorial Faison

How can one utter the words “Daring Greatly” without thinking about Black History and culture?  President Gerald R. Ford said the country needed to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”  The month of February became Black History month and should be celebrated and honored by all Americans not merely African Americans, for Black History is ALL of our history.

When we think about Daring Greatly, we can’t help but imagine the courage it took for African Americans to stand up for their race and fight for equality.  Many African Americans, not just the ones you read about in text books (e.g., Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Harriet Tubman), have had to dare greatly to be heard, to be seen, to be accepted in a society that deemed them as inferior.

We are so grateful to our ancestors for choosing to be daring and brave in order for African Americans to have rights.  In the case of Brown v. Board of Education Topeka, several people had to dare greatly and come together to end segregation in the public schools.  Because of their efforts, students of all ethnic groups and cultures are able to learn together, compete together, and have a chance at an equal education here in Katy ISD.  Because of them, we are able to work here at Cinco Ranch High School and collaborate with parents, students, and staff members of a wide range of ethnicities. 

With Black History month coming to an end, let’s remember that all Americans, regardless of race, have benefited from and continue to benefit from the contributions of African Americans.  Again, Black History is ALL of our History.

"So, in my daily living, I do not dare ignore the sounds but am honored that my ancestors were strong and freedom bound.  When fellowmen can’t remember the truth about this sadness, pause to share with them one of the many sounds of Blackness" -Latorial Faison

Written by: Kia Jones-Bynum (Speech Language Pathologist) and Kenya Washington (Special Education Teacher)

Friday, February 12, 2016

A Life Full of Breath Taking Moments

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away.  This quote has been attributed to a number of people in recent history. In my mind the idea of daring greatly can be related back to this quote. As teachers it is a daunting task to dare greatly in the class room. What if I fail? What if the kids see my vulnerability? How will this affect the learning in my classroom? Those are questions that immediately cross my mind when daring greatly is mentioned.

Next week students from Cinco Ranch and other Katy ISD schools will be competing at the Katy ISD Livestock Show and Rodeo. This is an opportunity to dare greatly on a completely different level. Ask a student about raising a livestock project and most will tell you it is one of the most challenging and rewarding activities they have ever participated in. To put this in perspective, understand that some of these students have been caring for their animals since the first week of June last year. This involves feeding twice a day as well as exercising, practicing showmanship, cleaning pens, buying feed and dealing with sickness and Texas weather. The final step in this project program is the Katy ISD Livestock Show.

This livestock show is considered terminal. For those of you that do not speak livestock terms, that means when the students enter the show grounds with the animal, it is no longer their property. All animals are sold at the conclusion of the show. Here is the take your breath away moment. Consider that these students invest all of these hours for a 5-10 minute presentation in the arena. The judge’s decision is final – there is no retest, mulligan or do over! One person’s opinion determines the outcome. I can’t think of a better example of daring greatly.

Each school year we present students with the opportunity to dare greatly. Cinco Ranch has a great variety of clubs and organizations that students can be involved with. If you take these examples one by one, certainly all of them have breath taking (daring greatly) moments. An FBLA member competing at the national contest, a debate student performing at a competition, a choir member presenting a solo and the list goes on and on. If you ask most students to talk about their fondest high school moments, they will revolve around teams, clubs and competitions. Everyone needs the opportunity to find their spot or group. 

In conclusion, it is my hope that all students find that activity or group that provides a breath taking moment to dare greatly. Good luck to all students competing at the livestock show as well as participating in other school activities. We would love to see you at the Katy Livestock Show and Rodeo next Wednesday through Saturday! 

John Ford, Ag Teacher, CTE Department Chair CRHS