About Me

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I have been an elementary and secondary school teacher and administrator. Currently, I am a faculty member in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. My M.Ed. and Ph.D. had a focus on the educational and linguistic experiences of children who moved from other countries to Canada.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

diri kole avec ak poul ... and courageous conversations in Haiti

Today was World Food Day. I haven't done research on this but I'm guessing that this day was set aside as such to celebrate the delicious and diverse foods found around the world. I also suspect that the day was established to help us remember that we each have an individual and collective responsibility to be good stewards of the food we enjoy.

Now, I'll admit, I love food. I am fortunate to live in a country, and with the economic means, to satisfy this love.

Being in Haiti on a day like this raises new issues for me. The lunch served at our M.Ed. class today was diri kole avec ak poul (rice and beans with chicken) which is one of the more common meals you will get in Haiti.

I love this dish.

But I also recognize that many in this country were hungry at lunch today ... and again this evening ... and likely tomorrow morning as well.

The students came into our M.Ed. class at 1 pm having had a great meal. They were ready to have 4.5 hours of class and that lunch helped ensure they were focused on the course materials. Ironically, a focus of the afternoon was on having courageous conversations. Communication, and particularly dealing with conflict and confrontation, is a critical skill for school leaders.

In Haiti, and certainly in pockets within my own community in Canada, there are people who are hungry. Not just on World Food Day but regularly through the year. As school leaders, we need to have more courageous conversations around what we're doing about this and to take action to ensure that every child in our schools is not learning on an empty stomach.

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