By Craig McKinney, AVID Staff Developer
On the morning of Thursday, June 18, I woke up and readied myself for the third and final day of presenting the English Language Arts: Writing and Speaking strand at the first AVID Summer Institute of the season in Dallas. With the arrival of Hurricane (downgraded to Tropical Storm) Bill in Texas, the news had been filled for days with cataclysmic warnings of torrential rains, high water, and travel difficulties. On this morning, when I clicked on the TV for a few minutes to see if Bill had more in store for us, I was jolted by the horrifying news of the mass shootings of nine churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina. Not having much time to watch because I had to get to my presentation room, I turned off the television and turned on my “AVID smile.”
All day long, the events lurked in the back of my mind as I stood in front of a roomful of outstanding educators and did my best to inspire them to be the difference in the lives of their students. My participants, as always, were an inspirational group of teachers—the type of teachers that any parent would love to have instructing their kids.