What do you do when you’re the one who doesn’t fit in? “Fish out of water“ are those who don’t fit in the mainstream culture, often due to sexual orientation, gender identity, ableness, income level, or ethnicity. This book focuses on survival and adaptation strategies for fish out of water as well as those who teach, supervise, and collaborate with them. . Included are:  • Tools of code-switching—an important survival mechanism for managing the dynamics of difference—in culturally proficient organizations  • Compelling portraits of fish out of water who have learned to survive and thrive in schools and other organizations  • Strategies for working with children who are targeted and bullied because they are different For everyone who has been or knows how it feels to be a fish out of water, this book helps you flourish where you are and mentor others who are different. “Fish Out of Water is a great resource for navigating ponds that suffocate the marginalized with dominant norms and values. Linking Cultural Proficiency to decoding an environment provides more tools for code switching, code sharing, and conversations about making students and families feel welcomed, included, and safe in our schools.” —Angela Ward, Office of Cultural Proficiency & Inclusion Austin Independent Schools, TX “This book made me think. It is a courageous attempt at the difficult subject of who ‘doesn’t fit’ into the spaces and places we inhabit–and why. But the most valuable part of this book is that it describes what we can do about making our schools, workplaces, and communities more inclusive, and ultimately more effective.” —Nicki King, Reducing Mental Health Disparities Project University of California, Davis

Managing the Environment
Managing the Environment

The Cultural Proficiency journey involves the transformation of people and organizations, moving them from Cultural Destructiveness to Cultural Proficiency. You may choose from among many ways to take this journey. On your journey, you must find the work on which you will focus. You may choose to work to eliminate Barriers, to reinforce the Principles, or to target the standards reflected in the Elements. Some of you may help Fish Out of Water find the ponds in which they can thrive, while guiding those Fish who control the ponds to make them more diverse and inclusive.

Nurturing the Organization’s Culture

Nurturing a welcoming and inclusive environment is one of the fundamental tasks of a healthy learning community. If you are comfortable ...

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