On Monday, December 4th, The Educator Academy’s Residents visited with Dr. Mark Bedell, Superintendent of Kansas City Public Schools, for an engaging discussion on Diversity, Equity, and Culturally Responsive Education. Reflecting on that visit is Calvin Davenport, Cohort Two Resident, to tell us his takeaways from the discussion with the superintendent:
After this session, I feel that Dr. Bedell has KCPS going in the right direction. He’s very passionate about taking KCPS to another level. He brings with him an extremely upbeat attitude, challenging staff to reach his level of enthusiasm. The thing that stuck out to me the most, and made me know that I was in this program for the right reason, was when he stated it does not matter if you’re male, female or a different race. He stressed if you don’t have the heart to do this then you’re in the wrong business. He made me realize that it’s all about being able to use positive narration with our students because so many are from broken homes or even homeless. This makes it even more critically important to build positive relationships with our students in order for us, as teachers, to get the best possible outcomes from our students. Dr. Bedell also touched on the budget, which is also very important, due to what he mentioned as unnecessary spending. He wants to break everything down, allocating the funding to fit the different tier schools. This would allow for the money to be resourced equally, making sure the schools that need more funding are getting the right budget to help their teachers and the building budget. I feel like a big piece of his dream is to provide a partnership with the local charter schools to help support the same cause of working together, sharing the needed dream of everyone supporting the same population of children. Within my classroom and the district, I see the impact of how Dr. Bedell is instilling his leadership. His positive attitude motivates staff to strive to reach out to students daily, challenging them to reach their individual potential. He extends himself into the community, showing his genuine concern for staff and families. His drive to allocate funding where it is most needed, gives families and staff in those areas hope for a brighter academic future.
Calvin Davenport is a Cohort Two Resident currently serving his Residency year at J.A. Rogers Elementary in Kansas City Public Schools. Calvin is originally from Alzheimer, Arkansas, and earned his bachelor’s degree from Ottawa University.