Monday, 9 July 2018

GAFE Sydney-Capes Not Required

I am very excited to by at the GAFE conference in Sydney. The room is buzzing as we wait for the opening Keynote. All the MIT teachers are double checking resources and excite to share their experiences with a whole new Audience. 

Our opening Keynote speaker is Jesse Lubinsky he comes to us today from New Zealand, America were he is an innovator and technology leader.

Jesse talked about how he spent his childhood growing up in Brooklyn, in an apartment and Wednesday is new comic book day. He talk about how Superheroes are relatable for children and adults. He believes that every kids is a superhero but they don't have capes. Often as we go into teaching we think about this saying:

But what if your role as teacher is not to be the hero but to bring out the hero in our learners.

So what is our role in the heroes story? We would like to say that we are the mentor but sometimes the system or us can but barriers in the way for our heroes (students) that make them feel incapable.

We should consider the habits of mind.

What can we do as educators to bring out the hero in our kids:

Encourage their passions
One students passions was encourage was Jordan, who is a foodie and she has her own food blog. Jordan's lunchbox. What gave her this change is the support she got from her teacher and many people in her school who encouraged her.

Provide Opportunities
Students can be very passionate but this does not get fostered at school and this creates a disconnect for learners and as a result they don't feel that school supports them. 

One way Jesse suggested we do this could be through 20% time or Genius Hour. 

What if? 
-What if we are missing something? What if we are not listening enough to the people who this impacts most the kids. Jesse talked about how they change their school innovation fund so that kids could directly apply for funding for projects that will support their local community. 

At lot of the projects were around supporting younger students in communities. 

Celebrate their Scars 
Daniel Kish is blind and yes he found that hard but he way lucky because he was supported people didn't over over protect him. He used this freed to learn to echolocate. Now he teaches over people how to see without seeing just like him. 

There can be enjoy in failure. The things we hold the most dear are the things we struggle to get over and over until we finally get it. This is the same for our kids.  

Honour Individuality 
All of our students have challenges. Some of these challenges are physical but others are on the inside. Jordan Reeves age 10 has only one arm. Her is her story. Hilde is a reporter, she has her own news site. She covers things in her life. She has parents who are journalist. At 9 years of age there was a murder in her block. That wasn't received well by all. Here is her news site. To Honour their individuality we must know our learners. 

So is it true what Syndrom said "When everyone is super, no one is" No I don't think so we can all be super because with great power comes great possibility

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