Tao Time Detour

I’m making the executive decision to take a second detour in my series of posts on 21st century literacies.  If you’re unwilling to take surprise detours, you might miss some major highlights, right? And, trust me, these girls are major highlights.

We meet every Thursday after lunch.  We voted on what to call ourselves and ended up with “Tao: Together As One,” which beat out “Dangerous Divas” by an alarmingly small margin.  There are approximately 15 of us and the most heatedly debated topic in each and every one of our sessions together tends to center around what snack I will be bringing next week.  The girls all come from different grades, places in life, and backgrounds; the only thing that they have in common is a need for community.

So Lawrence High’s guidance counselor, in her infinite wisdom, thought it might be a good idea to gather these ladies together to form a community of their own.  And oh what a community has been formed!

We have 3 rules:

1) Always be supportive, positive, and respectful.

2) What happens in Tao time stays in Tao time.

3) Don’t hog the snacks.

We take these rules super seriously; although, I’m not sure we even needed to set them.  These beauties innately understand the roles of positivity, respect, and selflessness in our time together.  They are funny, smart, and one-of-a-kind young women who have, with very little help or input from me, come together and built a safe place for themselves out of relationships with one another.  For 4 weeks now, we have been meeting in empty classrooms to share food, laughs, successes, sorrows, fears, and support. These amazing young women have consistently impressed and humbled me in their ability to go deep in our discussions on relationships, careers, family, sexuality, goals, anxiety, and a host of other big-league topics.  They bring profound insight and experience to the table and it has been a genuine honor and blessing to see them gather together and support one another.

I came home from Lawrence High today with my heart full after 90 minutes of unfiltered awesome with the Tao girls.  I sat down to write up my next blog post in my 21st century literacies series and I just had to take a detour to share some of the special brand of wonderful that the strong and beautiful Tao girls bring into the world.

Playing games, sharing stories, and keeping it real.


8 thoughts on “Tao Time Detour

  1. kateartz says:

    This is amazing! What a wonderful opportunity, for them and for you. It really makes me miss my stint as a Girl Scout troop leader (where snacks were also of the highest priority). I’d love to hear more about your experiences with this group and how they came to be. They sound like an incredible bunch, I really envy you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Danah Rae says:

    Ahh Girl Scouts! I love the Girl Scouts! I think it’s always an honor to be a part of a group of girls as they build a community together. The adults who are lucky enough to be party to their shenanigans are the real beneficiaries, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. zimmerwoman says:

    This is great! I think every high school needs something like this. Middle schools have a lunch group that is a little similar, but I think they mainly talk about academics. Also there is a mix of genders. I think it’s great that there are only girls in this group. At that age some girls don’t want to open up if a guy is around. It’s fantastic that you get to be part of this.


  4. Anne says:

    This sounds like an amazing opportunity. I wish more schools had programs like this. I especially like that this is a during school activity. I always think that when these kinds of groups are created for after school programs, they inherently exclude students who have a hectic home life (who may either go straight to work or straight home to care for family). Do you come up with the topics, or do the students?


  5. Danah Rae says:

    I completely agree; putting it after school makes it inaccessible for so many students. I came up with a list of things we might want to discuss and then we voted on what we wanted to talk about. I always have a list of backup activities/topics if we come up with extra time, but that literally never happens 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sara Kjendal says:

    Amazing…Awesome…Danah you are helping to make the world a better place one student at a time…this does not diminish the importance of the students’ intelligence, talents, determination and desire to be part of an encouraging community which you are offering them.


  7. Dan says:

    Awesome stuff, Danah. I really like this program (and especially the name). Many schools now are being asked by NEASC to create these types of things within the school day. A lot of places call them advisories (but Tao: Together as One is sooo much better). We underestimate the support these kids are getting throughout their day, and I think this is a great way for teachers, parents, and other students to see that we are all working together for these kids. Nice work!

    Liked by 1 person

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