Season 5, Episode 9: Interview with Trelane Clark

Charles WilliamsThe Counter Narrative Podcast

Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations.

I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office.

Let’s get started.

In this episode, I chat with Trelane Clark, the principal at Hooks Elementary School in Chelsea, Massachusetts, a city adjacent to Boston. She has been serving in education for 25 years in public, private, urban, and suburban schools. She believes that building relationships is central to the work that educators must do. Her personal mission is to stay grounded in faith while learning through life’s experiences that empower her to empower others. Trelane’s professional mission is to inspire educators to Teach from the Heart, model Resiliency, lead with Integrity, Value relationships, and ensure Equity for all. She serves as the Vice President of Black Women Education Leaders, Inc. and was a contributing author to Women Who Lead Featuring School Principals Vol. 2.

During our conversation we discussed the importance of shifting away from deficit thinking not only for our students but for ourselves as well. When we begin to focus on our abilities and begin operating within our purpose, anything is possible. The same is true for our students. While we can focus on their gaps in learning, we can also identify the strengths that they are bringing into our classrooms. If self-doubt prevents success, then we not only need to shift our thinking but that of our students. Trelane also talks about the need to look for the silver linings and to have joy in the work that we are doing. Yes there is much that is wrong but there is also plenty that is right. We close out the conversation by discussing the need to know students’ names, strengths, and stories. Do you know all of your students? Can you identify them by name? Can you identify something about each one?

Let’s jump in to hear more about this challenge and how Trelane is countering the narrative.

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