Friday, October 19, 2012

Collecting the dots -v- connecting the dots

I have loved reading Seth Godin's Stop Stealing Dreams, so I was keen to watch this TEDx talk when I saw it being tweeted out today.  Seth asks what is school for?

In this talk Seth covers many aspects of traditional education and calls instead for flipped classrooms, open books and open notes so that if you need to know something you can look it up,  access to any course - anytime anywhere, personalized education, different sorts of tests that measuring experience, the end of compliance as an outcome, cooperation instead of isolation, teachers becoming coaches, lifelong learning and the death of famous colleges.  And all this in less than 20 minutes!

You learn from experience, and every experience, both good and bad, can teach you a lesson.  Bad experiences can destroy you only if you let them, so it's important to be strong and stay true to your values and beliefs.  When you look for the lessons in bad experiences it can actually make you stronger.  If you are strong enough to walk away from them, you are likely to end up in a better place.  Here is my take away from Seth's TEDx talk, based on my experience in mediocre school, from the perspective of now being in an excellent one:
  • dare to speak up against a system that is working
  • persistence in the face of a skeptical authority figure is priceless
  • if you care enough about your work to be criticized about it then you have done a good day's work
  • standing out is a long term strategy that takes guts and produces results.
Every day that I am here, in my current job, I feel grateful that I am valued as a professional.  I'm glad I didn't allow the way I was treated at my last school to grind me down and rob me of my dreams. I love teaching, and yet I could so easily have simply given up.   It's a joy to once again work with forward-thinking educators who are encouraging students to go out and ask questions and to seek the dots that they want to connect.

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