We recently had two workshops at secondary enrichment and on the surface you might not immediately connect them, but after attending the sessions, you would really see how we are all connected to the community.
The first event was a guest speaker from the Children’s Aid Society and the second was from the Humane Society. You might not see the correlation at first, but they had so much in common it was really reinforcing an old adage that, “it takes a village”.
The lawyer from the CAS spoke to us about procedure, the law, qualifications, and roles within the CAS- from case workers, social workers, the police, and outside agencies. At first you might have thought it would be law, law, law, but even the lawyer said that, might seem a bit “dry”, so let’s talk on a human level.
The cruelty investigator from the Humane Society started out the same way. She spoke about background, policy, orders, documents, court proceedings, but even she agreed, it might seem a bit “dry”, so let’s talk on a human level.
It seemed apparent that both these agencies have a similar agenda – to protect the vulnerable – and to work with the community to see their goals met in the best way possible.
As they spoke (individually, at separate times and venues) the audience began to see how important it is to be educated and kind, but also be aware of how community supports are essential and valuable to make us stronger.
I’m not going to pursue the individual points of each in this post, (I will do that separately) but rather what I gained from being in the audience.
These women have their jobs, no one job is only ever only “one job”. Both of these speakers representing their agencies had a lot in common. It made me really see how we are all meant to try to improve our community and help serve and protect the vulnerable. They both frequently called upon others to help – from the police and fire departments, to social services, food banks, foster homes. They both need to ensure accurate and complete documentation. They both work to ensure the safety of everyone involved – homes, children, animals, themselves. They both are involved in court proceedings. They both must keep in contact with all of these agencies to check in and update on their situation. They both must complete follow up investigations. They frequently use the exact same agencies to help protect, educate, and improve lives.
I wanted to bring these speakers in for my secondary enrichment students. While I’m always looking to plan for different topics, subject areas, and venues, it’s still important to ground my students with meaning and purpose. I don’t want to always just randomly plop down a subject challenge and walk away. I want to show my students connections beyond the classroom. You working in your job does not mean you are working in a vacuum. Sometimes we forget that along with academic challenge should come skills in empathy and growth. These types of events help us see the larger community around us, and how many of us play a role beyond our office, classroom, and courtroom. As so many post-secondary institutions remind us: what you do HERE matters out THERE.
We are a community. To help protect the vulnerable, we must all work together. If it takes you to see why this is needed through the eyes of a child or an animal, it doesn’t matter, as long as you get the message. Our society will start to improve when we realize how we all must depend upon each other to more forward.