Can impact be measured in poetry? We think so.
The KIPP Successor Prep Cohort is an intensive training program that helps rising KIPP school leaders develop the skills and resources to manage change, plan for transition, develop a strategic plan, coach teachers, and manage staff performance. Since 2012 SchoolWorks has facilitated The KIPP Successor Prep Cohort by conducting an annual series of action-planning intercession workshops, coupled with individual Successor Leader Visit (SLV) school assessments geared toward capacity-building. During the workshops, participating rising school leaders learn the steps for effectively analyzing school-specific data to develop a targeted First Year Strategic Action Plan, while drawing upon the support of their peers and facilitators.
After SchoolWorks Senior Project Manager Betty Dao completed facilitating the year-long Successor Prep Cohort on behalf of The KIPP Foundation this year, the participants presented her with this poem (and we couldn’t agree more!):
We didn’t know.
We didn’t know at first whether our time here would be worth it.
Whether we would walk away with only a few words on an otherwise blank First Year Strategic Action Plan.
But we know now. Our time here was worth it.
Our pages are full. Our brains are full. Our schools are full.
We know the path forward and we see the beacon—clear, crisp, and bright.
And we are so very grateful—
For the ability we have now to stand in front of our school, raise a battle cry and point our finger forward.
We are grateful.
That you helped us develop a vision that would shake the very ground, with the feet of our students with the brightest future.
And we are grateful for the humor and creativity you brought.
We walk away with knowledge and wisdom, that could and is changing our school’s narrative—
Lifting up the struggling teacher, inspiring curiosity and hope in our students, celebrating identities in families, and fostering a community where nobody loses their way.
And do you know why?
Because of you Betty.