Sunday, 26 August 2012

Yes I can... we can, you can too!

With the amount of work to be completed by the end of term heaping up like a mountain it seems impossible to accomplish. 'A bridge too far', 'A mountain too high'... Given the fact that I am a student too, it means that my term as teacher more or less coincides with my term as student. Assessment, marking, writing exams, marking others' cycle tests, and so forth... Im sure you get the picture.

... and then there is the prospect of new plans... new challenges for the year ahead -- all in the name of reviving school-based education. It was particularly apt then that I started to look for inspiration. It takes a lot of energy and will power to mark a stack of papers... all while I am thinking of my own examination that is looming. It takes even more guts and raw courage to put a bold plan on the table in the hope that management will accept it as a way to move forward. See, I have a deep-seated belief that education -- throughout the whole spectrum in South Africa -- is in deep trouble. At least at secondary school level we need a revival and renewal. We cannot carry on teaching the way that we have been taught. Neither can I merely add more expensive toys and still carry on in the same way... Education needs to be reloaded / refreshed / rebooted ... hence the journey to introduce Moodle as a framework to deliver content and assessment, and above-all to create a community of learners and teachers that will hopefully stretch beyond the borders of our school.

So, just when I thought that too much is going on at once and that I have little chance of getting things done on time I turned to YouTube; by chance I came across Oscar Pistorius' Nike Advertisement... Ive forgotten about it...

If Oscar can do this -- with no legs -- can I also, in my own way get to those learners in my class who refuse to learn? Is it possible to connect with them in a way that will speak of trust and not distrust? Can I help facilitate and rekindle curiosity and an eagerness to learn amongst all my students, especially those who are 'switched off' and bent on causing as much disruption as possible? I don't know. To you Oscar... I sure am going to try... You see, I also know all about trying!

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