“I fight for my kids, and I’m going to fight for every kid.”
That’s what I had to keep telling myself these past few weeks, as some of the teachers in my children’s school became angry with me because I was about to take a stand that they didn’t agree with.
As a mom of two children at Elder Diggs IPS School #42, I had a big decision to make. IPS had recommended to change Elder Diggs to an innovation school, and at the time, I didn’t know what innovation was.
At first, I was not in support of the plan. The district had told parents last year that there would be no major changes. And then I started hearing things from the teachers in the school, who I trusted. They said this change to innovation would be bad for my children. The teachers said we’d be losing our traditions at the school, and our kids would be sent somewhere else.
But as a mom, I knew my kids came first. I had to do my own work to find out more information about innovation and what that would mean for my children. After carefully doing my own research, I asked a lot of questions and made sure to attend all of the meetings that were held at IPS 42. I understand the reason and circumstances of why IPS suggested that Elder Diggs become an innovation school. And I ended up supporting the decision. I spoke at last week’s school board meeting in favor of my children’s school becoming Ignite Achievement Academy at Elder W. Diggs for next school year. I met with the innovation school leaders of Ignite, Shy-Quon Ely and Brooke Beavers, and I liked what they were bringing to the table. My son, Montana, gets bored a lot in school, and he doesn’t have a drive sometimes to work hard. With Ignite’s program, I believe it will give him that drive.
I believe that Ignite will be a perfect fit for my children, including my daughter, as well as all the other children in the community. Shy and Brooke plan to have music be part of the learning, and they’ll give additional lab supports for kids who need them. The Ignite team believes that our kids can meet and exceed any bar set ahead of them. That’s why I told the IPS board last week that I was “ready for Ignite to ignite the fire in our kids’ education.”
I’m happy that the IPS board listened to parents like me. And I’m excited about the Ignite program and what it will mean for my kids. But I’m disappointed and hurt by some of the things the teachers said to me. I know they are upset that the change to innovation could mean that they no longer teach at Elder Diggs. And that fact hurts me, too. There are really great teachers at Elder Diggs. But I hope they understand my point of view as a parent.
I have to do my own research and make my own decisions. Because in the end, I fight for my kids, and I’m going to fight for every kid at Elder Diggs.