On Tuesday this week the ABC’s ‘The Drum’ had a great segment on education. One of my heroes, and a wonderful advocate for public education, Jane Caro spoke out against the expectations society puts on teachers, and the fact that we are human and subsequently, are partial to human flaws. She highlights that simply parroting about ‘quality teachers’ doesn’t do anything to actually improve learning outcomes.
You can view the whole episode here. I recommend watching from the 25:44 to see Jane on fire.
Professor Stephen Heppell – “digital education leader and learning futurist” – compares teachers to elite sports coaches. He presents the idea that for innovation to occur, we need to examine every tiny detail, like a sports coach would and implement incremental changes as well as large-scale ones. Often what seems like a small change can have a huge impact.
I found this clip really inspiring and it’s gotten me thinking about what small changes I could make in my school.
In this TED Talk by Drew Dudley, he reminds us about the impact we can have on the lives of others, and examines this as a form of leadership. I love the way he re-defines the idea of leadership to consider it as an act of helping others in some way. As teachers, we’re all leaders and I think it’s important to remind ourselves of that.
Every Sunday I will try to put up something to inspire educators as they are preparing to begin their week. Today I will begin with a slam poetry performance that I feel articulates much of what makes me proud to be a teacher, not to mention the struggle to establish the legitimacy of our profession with people so ready to dismiss us.
Slam poetry from Taylor Mali- “What Teachers Make”
Taylor Mali is a slam poet, ex-teacher and passionate advocate of educators and education from the United States.
Find out more at http://www.taylormali.com
I saw this painted on the wall of a little laneway while I was visiting Singapore recently, and it really rang true to me. I think that when we consider the quote in the context of education it helps to really highlight how important it is that every child has access to the highest quality teaching, and inspiring learning environments. If we let any young person ‘slip through the cracks’ the impacts can be significant for the rest of their life. As educators we are extremely priveledged to help shape future generations, but with that comes great responsibility not to let these generations down. That said, I also think that it’s important that we inspire and empower young people themselves to take control of their own lives and pursue what fulfils them.