So, there they were, a small middle school at the bottom of the world just doing their thing. I was lucky to be visiting the school on a research project kindly funded by Core Education in New Zealand. The school was proud of what they were doing but the issue for me was that “their thing” was MIND-BLOWING and nobody knew about it!
You may have read my post from November titled “HEY TEACHER, WOULD YOU BE A STUDENT?”, it’s my most popular post to date. In it, I introduced the world to Breens Intermediate school in Christchurch, New Zealand. All I did was draw a diagram that loosely outlined what the school was doing. Well, to quote a Californian, it went “absolutely VIRAL!”
USA, France, Finland, Canada, Sweden, Australia, Turkey, Uk, Public schools, Private schools, Elementary Schools, High schools, you name it and they were interested. Above is an image containing just some of the messages, and it’s only those who quoted the tweet, not the 1000s of retweets, likes and re-blogging on WordPress.
World renowned educators and school principals were promising rethinks and planning sessions based on it and teachers talked of dreaming about such a school or wanting to ‘go back to school’ just the experience it. I was humbled by the response but at the same time, not surprised. But what does this mean?
Share it to discover your AWESOMENESS!
Breens is special but not unique and is just another example of something that is happening in every school: a GREAT IDEA. Nearly all schools and teachers are doing great things, the issue is that they don’t know they’re great until they share them and this is not happening enough. If you are an educator, I promise you ‘that thing’ you are doing right now in school would also be mind-blowing to 1000s of teachers and you are underestimating the potential impact of ‘that thing’ to change world education.
Remember, we think in PICTURES
There’s another important reason why my post was popular: Pictures! Humans like pictures, we think in pictures and so need them to process ideas properly. The graphic I produced was carefully arranged, used colour and layout to divide information and was easy to spot and digest. This is important for all teachers and school leaders to be aware of when promoting new initiatives.
SCARED TO SHARE?
I have also recently posted on “why teachers don’t share.” Here I explained that my research showed unconnected educators were not comfortable sharing because of professional uncertainty about their practice. Until you shared and gained your first feedback, you were unable to position yourself on a sort of educator’s ‘success spectrum’. Until you bounce your ideas off someone else, you can’t judge the response they may receive. Regardless of how confident you are, I have a solution.
DRAW & SHARE AS A SCHOOL
Make sure your school has a Twitter account (Twitter is the primary social media for educators). Ask your teachers to submit their latest classroom ideas and initiatives and promote them as a school to the world using #edChat and #EdTech. This takes the pressure off the individuals, whilst promoting what probably will be AWESOME educational gold to schools around the globe. Start TODAY, or I’ll hunt down your amazing ideas and do it for you! 🙂