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Leslie Armstrong

WIPRO URBAN STEM

February 18, 2015

Becoming a Tempered Radical chapters 3-7

Leslie Armstrong WIPRO URBAN STEM February 18, 2015 Becoming a Tempered Radical chapters 3-7 Where am

Where am I ?

Where do I aim to be ?

Leslie Armstrong

WIPRO URBAN STEM

February 18, 2015

A scatter plot graph would represent my varied positions in the tempered radical continuum. This connect the dot pattern is the result of various factors. Institutional edicts, administrative mandates, colleague relationships and expectations from all of the above. I would not feel comfortable minimizing the field of the tempered continuum, but the wisdom of being an educator for approximately twenty years prevents me from expressing falsities that I cannot sustain. A straightforward representation that would keep me afloat would be a combination of “Broadening Impact through Negotiation” and “Leveraging Small Wins”.

Reiterating the point that was mentioned in the previous paragraph, the tempered radical role I play depends on the audience that I am addressing and the setting or conditions I am working within. For the royal court of the institution and administration, I must not openly usurp their authority or be perceived as being contrary. I respect the role that institutions and administration play on the educational stage because of the obvious structure and resources that they provide, but I disagree with the hold they have on change, innovation and independent thinking. With administration, I wish to leverage small wins through the positive results I expect to achieve by working with colleagues and students. Artful negotiation with my colleagues has broadened the WIPRO impact within our school. Of course, I would like this impact to be more expansive, but the level of resistance to change has decreased.

I can attribute this correlation to the quick adjustment of my management style. Volleying among my roles as a pseudo administrator, teacher leader, STEM coach and a classroom teacher, I soon learned to deemphasize the authoritative parts and emphasize community coaching and collegial empowerment.

An unrelenting feeling of misalignment with my colleagues is an unnerving feeling that I contend with daily. The change in my role at the school has given some of my colleagues the idea that I

Leslie Armstrong

WIPRO URBAN STEM

February 18, 2015

have “sold out”. Culturally, as an African American, that is a title that can be connected to our historical struggle. We have come a

long way in regards to civil rights, but are disjointed in our idea of professional progression. Professionally I face the questioning of my efficacy as a STEM coach. To address the social connotation of being thought of as a “sell out”, I tend to inject humor and use this encounter as an opportunity to begin collaborative

conversations about change.

Actively listening has

deemphasized the status tag of my role and emphasized the idea of a shared approach. The work can begin once that has been accomplished; one teacher at a time. The second phase involves working within their students directly. This technique enables my colleagues to see that I have not abandoned my role as a classroom teacher as well.

Goals

After reading this book, the practice of setting clear and attainable goals seems a less arduous task. The following are a list of goals that I have formulated in regards to moving ahead as a tempered radical.

Continue to identify windows of opportunity to accomplish

small victories Remain cognizant of the social, cultural and racial audiences

that I encounter; for the purposes of adjustment along the tempered continuum. Be willing to tactfully address recurrent issues within our

school community that may seem unpopular or uncomfortable for most individuals to expose Accept each person’s position on the tempered radical continuum.

Leslie Armstrong

Lesson’s learned

WIPRO URBAN STEM

February 18, 2015

The content in this book has solidified the errors that I have made in my desire to cause change. The idea of organizing collective action was and is not the role that would benefit me as long as I work within the system. Brackish confrontation will produce a negative effect, but tempered tactfulness will keep the momentum going. Intermingling negotiations to leverage small wins is the package I wish to combine to broaden the impact of the collective work that I and my colleagues have completed. Identifying the cause of resistance is an idea that had not come to mind, but is valid when working with other cultural and subcultural groups.