Friday, June 8, 2012


Yesterday was a public holiday and I went for a memorable hike with some of the very dear friends I have made in the time I've been living in Switzerland.  In the last few remaining days, I'm storing up these memories of mountains, lakes, clean air, blue skies, green fields and the friends who have shared the good times and supported me through the bad.

By a strange coincidence, yesterday was also the day when Anthony Salcito, the Vice-President of Worldwide Education at Microsoft, featured me as one of his 365 heroes of education.  Anthony's mission this year has been to highlight teachers, school leaders, policy-makers, business leaders, celebrities, NGO leaders and researchers who have embraced enhancing education as a core facet in their lives.  Thank you Anthony for honoring me in this way.

I started to think about the word hero.  This is a person who is idealized for courage, outstanding achievements or noble qualities.  I think this is a pretty apt description of many teachers.  The qualities that make someone a hero are internal ones and you have to be true to them.  As Seth Godin has written, you have to silence the lizard brain that wants you to be safe - being a hero involves taking risks.  You have to stop being afraid of what you are and what you want.  You have to be strong and set aside these fears.  Look into your heart - the hero is there.  Don't let anyone make you feel otherwise.

Photo Credit:  Shape of a Hoper by Gisela Giardino, 2007 AttributionShare Alike

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