Sorry for the super belated post y’all. Lot has happened in the past couple of months so let’s start in chronological order. First up: TED talk! Me and a couple of my Fulbright compadres Jose and Carolyn attended the TEDxNorwiched conference last month where speakers addressed the age-old question, “how do we think differently about education?”
Here are a few highlights from some extraordinary people. I hope they serve as food for thought, especially for my educator friends.
“I have the best job in the world because all I have to do is find the fun” – Matt Bagley, ex Formula 1 engineer, Director of Doing at Camouflaged Learning
“If we don’t actively design a culture of excellence, we’ll default to a culture of results” – Owen Morgan, Social Entrepreneur
“ Qualifications alone are not passports through life” – Ali Marlow, Occupational Therapist
“Pursuing degrees not congruent to your goals is like equipping supercomputers with…Windows Vista” – Siam Kidd, ex-RAF pilot/ Precious Metals Trader
“Job satisfaction and community. How often do we get to tell people how much we love teaching?” -Vic Goddard, Head of Passmores Academy/ Reality TV star
Lastly, the gang strikes a pose upstage.
Attending this TED talk and listening to these amazing innovators really allowed me to analyze my own teaching practices through a critical lens. Nowadays, it’s not easy for educators to stay mindful and reflective amidst the hubbub and pressures of the ever-changing educational landscape. But I think all educators could benefit from take some time every now and then to engage in dialogue with the global teaching community for ideas, support, and growth.
Sheffield is known for its longstanding tradition of activism and community building which is reflected in its schools.
This Friday, I moderated a panel where a refugee spokesperson from City of Sanctuary gave a testimonial about his experience. The panel is part of Asylum Day at the Silverdale School, where many of the students come from Somali and Pakistani immigrant families.
His name is Rodrigo and he was a political leader in Uganda. He had a quiet dignity about him as he spoke about his beautiful hometown and his family, both of which he had to leave behind to seek asylum. He smiled as he spoke about the numerous assassination attempts and being cold, hungry, and destitute in the streets of London. He smiled as he recounted his days in detention centers with only £5, living in constant fear of being sent back home to die.
The kids had a million questions for Rodrigo during our Q&A session. One kid asked why he smiled so much. He said he smiled because could. Because he was alive.
Sometimes, I think we tend to forget the human element when we deal with such big historical events. Thank you Rodrigo for giving us a better understanding of the importance of human compassion and community.
Thanks Marc for helping me finally set up a blog. For those of you wondering what I’m up to in Sheffield, you can check back here; I’ll update regularly, I promise.
A brief introduction; I’ve been popping in and out of the Silverdale School observing their PSHE classes. (Mandatory philosophy and citizenship classes for kids! Exciting!)
This afternoon, I will be observing the 8th years’ (~7th grade) class centering on the religious, moral, and philosophical implications on the Life of Pi. I find it both entertaining and a privilege to be privy to the tiny philosophers’ discussions. I think perhaps the key to bridging the various learning gaps in our children is somewhere in this type of quest for truth and reason.
Today’s topic: If There Is a God, Why Is There Evil? Is there an absolute truth?