Marion Halberg (@meghalberg) is the IB Diploma Coordinator at Dobbs Ferry High School in Westchester County. She is currently attending the IB Conference of the Americas in Washington D.C. with DFHS IB Administrator Candace Reim (@careim2). Both will be guest blogging throughout the conference.
“Hope is a noun in action,” Blessed Sheriff, a Diploma student at Richard Montgomery High School in Maryland recited from her exquisite poem with which she opened “Ways of Knowing,” the annual International Baccalaureate Conference of the Americas. Blessed told the 1,700 of us from 41 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, six Canadian provinces and 31 countries that IB has challenged her to see our world in a different way and gives her a chance to see things on a global scale. She said hope is “vision”. She said, “We are hope.”
I couldn’t agree with her more! As Drew Deutsch, IBA’s Regional Director said, we all have come together here in Washington, D.C. for “the opportunity to bring new ideas to schools, teachers, classrooms, and students.” The IB’s progressive, forward-thinking student-centered approach sees hope in all of us and allows us to work together to be inspired toward the IB’s goal of “making the world a more peaceful place through education.”
Really. Why would so many educators give up three days over a summer weekend to connect with one another, attend workshops, learn about the latest that IB has to offer, and prepare for upcoming curriculum planning and new diploma students? We do it because we have hope. We believe that by collaborating with one another, we will be inspired and learn how to make the world a better and more peaceful place. We have hope and we are here to be inspired.
Andy Hargreaves (@HargreavesBC), The Thomas More Brennan Chair – Lynch School of Education at Boston College, shared his thoughts on “Uplifting Leadership” and the “Six Uplifting Forces.” I immediately think “inspiring” when I hear “uplifting” and that gives me hope, too. Professor Hargreaves described “Uplifting Criteria” which included
– Do better than before
– Do a lot with a little
– Create something from almost nothing
And then he said something that I haven’t stopped thinking about since I heard it: Give away your best ideas to stimulate innovation! Wow. By collaborating with others, by sharing what you know, what you’ve got, you can push yourself to be more innovative, more creative, more inspired. That gives me hope. And teaches many lessons.
By reflecting with our colleagues and giving one another feedback, we help ourselves move forward and become better practitioners. By allowing teachers to collaborate and work together to plan curriculum and then change what we’re doing, administrators help us to be innovative. They inspire us not to cling to what’s always been and help push us/inspire us to innovation. And teachers bring this to our students, too. Professor Hargreaves described how Singapore schools encountered enormous success by allowing teachers to create a curriculum “space” where they taught less and students learned more! Collaboration. Inspiration. Hope!
I still have another day and a half of #IBDC2014 to attend. Today I learned how the IBO is putting new support services in place for schools to enhance services. This is a result of collaboration. And inspiration. And change which is a by-product of hope. I also attended a session on teaching, learning and assessing for understanding and I have so much to share with my colleagues at Dobbs Ferry High School when we meet together in the coming weeks. By reflecting on these and the other things I know I will learn in the coming sessions, I will be able to collaborate, perhaps inspire, and certainly bring hope, ultimately, to the young people we work with and who will be those who really do change the world and make it a more peaceful place. I have hope.
Marion Halberg, IB Diploma Coordinator
Dobbs Ferry High School