|One of my leaving cards|
Moving from Switzerland, the country that for many years has been top of the quality of life index ratings, to Mumbai where the population of the city is 3 times the size of the country where I'm currently living and over a million people in the city live in slums, is likely to be a challenge - I think of it in terms of night and day. I'm buoyed up by the support I've got from my new school, by the excitement of returning to the cutting edge of education and of educational technology, by the feeling that I'm valued and that I can make a contribution. Actually I'm more excited by the possibilities of this move than by any move I've ever made before (and I've lived in 7 countries).
However farewells are hard - the teachers I've worked with have been some of my closest friends ever - the support they have given me has been second to none. My current school is a tough place to work and yet when things are tough it can bring out the best in people. Many are hanging on and hoping for better times. Over the past few months many have also expressed their concern that they will not get the same level of support in the future, or the same vision of how technology can transform learning. At times I feel like a rat deserting a sinking ship.
Today as I was packing I was feeling quite depressed. I wrote a post on Facebook about how I felt seeing my entire life being packed in to boxes. This is the reply I got:
Your whole life doesn't fit into boxes, it never could. Your life is all over this great world in the hearts and minds of your precious family and all the kids you've taught and all the people you've worked with. Bits and pieces fit into the boxes but your life...never.This is also the person who reminded me earlier this week when I compared my current school to my new school as night and day:
I take it I am here in the 'night'? Night can be beautiful too right? All those sparkling stars....So in the next few days I will say goodbye to these sparkling stars, the people who have stood by me over the past 3 dark years, who have built me up instead of putting me down, who have shown me that they share the vision, that they want something better from schooling than we are now being offered. I am proud to call these people my friends, and I will miss them.
I am not good at goodbyes and I know I have 2 more days of them. But I'm confident that these are not really goodbyes. I will be a little bit ahead of everyone in place and time, but I am never going to be further away than a Skype call or an email. Technology has transformed not just the learning, but also the leaving.