I have tried to write this post a few times now…it feels like my brain is exploding with all of the amazing ideas that were shared at Tedx on May 14th! For me, there was a theme that ran through all of the talks – kindness and human connection are key to the work we do in education. Really, it is the key to compassionate conversations and building trusting relationships.
From the first talk by Dina Prestonji on hope and triumph over adversity, we are reminded that everyone we come into contact with has their own story. We have no idea of the struggles faced by our students or colleagues. Taking pause to realize that we all view life through a different lens and to act with kindness is important.
Royan Lee opened up about his experiences with his brother. Sharing how a deeper understanding of his brother’s Autsim helped him to become a compasionate educator, husband and father. There are differences among all of us, and once we embrace them we all have so much more to offer. Royan mentioned the work of Steve Silberman (and later we had the chance to watch this clip – http://bit.ly/1JBLR45) and his work on neurodiversity. It all got me thinking about true differentiation and the acceptance of differences when building community – it all takes kindness.
Kristin Werner told us how teaching dance with positivity, Peter LeBlanc spoke to the human element needed in the 21st century, and Bob Kline share a personal story of a student showing empathy that changed his perspective. Rusul Alrubail brought to light that student voice and the power of social justice can be a catalyst for change, while Jennifer Moss talked about the power within all of us to change our mindset through positivity and gratitude.
In this 21st century education system, it was nice to slow down and listen to the insight from these speakers. Kindness and human connection are key. Teachers will not be replaced by technology. Now, more than ever, we need one another!