MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - There's something to every student that walks into a classroom.
"The research says 47.9% of our kids have dealt with childhood traumas in their life," said Joe Hendershott, President & Co-Founder, Hope for the Wounded Incorporated.
On Thursday, the teachers of Midland ISD became the students as they were taught by Hendershott about at-risk and wounded children, characteristics in kids he believed tend to drop out of school.
"Though at risk is normally talked about in education. What we really talk about at risk of not graduating. I talk more about social, emotional and physical woundedness and how it affects education," said Hendershott.
Two sessions were held and there were lessons many teachers learned.
"When I asked the question today how many feel prepared to deal with a child wounds, in two sessions, I only had one hand that was raised," said Hendershott.
Hendershott walked the MISD staff through managing emotions and asking "what" questions when trying to talk to students who are going through something, not "why"? The positive response signified the start of the culture change new Superintendent Orlando Riddick is trying to install.
"The direction in where we want to go and what we want to do stipulates around all kids. One of the things you need to do is recognize what all means when you want to represent an aspect of an entire district," said Riddick.
Changes to the suspension policy were talked about. Why would you kick a student out when they could complete community service instead and learn from their mistakes? It's those discussions that had everyone involved thinking towards the future.
"Every student is bringing a story to them and they understand and take some empathy in regards to what that story is," said Riddick.
"As I go around the country, we see pockets of success. Here I see them saying we want more than pockets of success, we want a culture of success for all students," said Hendershott.
Class was dismissed at 4 p.m. with the staff having a better understanding of what to look for in their students this upcoming year.