What are we afraid of?

I was privileged to be a leader at Learning2.0 this October in Beijing. I still need to write a post about the experience, because “amazing” might be an understatement. But one thing that I will always remember is the fear and energy that I felt presenting a mini-keynote to the audience of 400 teachers on the final day of the conference.

My speech was called, “What are we afraid of?”  For me, public speaking is right up there with the things that terrify me. But as we prepared for the conference, I felt a need to talk about why international schools are so lucky to have the freedom and ability to put the ideas we learn at Learning2.0 (or COETAIL) into action. We can try new things and make mistakes and grow as teachers. And because we are connected, via blogs or friendships or Twitter, we don’t have to make these changes by ourselves. That’s powerful incentive to be innovators and change-agents in education. And I believe our students, wherever they may be and whatever their circumstance, deserve the best that we can give them.

I think (I hope) my talked resonated with people.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was heartfelt. Thanks to all who took pictures or gave me a hug after. If it’s possible to treasure tweets, I’ll treasure the support I found on Twitter before, during and after my talk. Major thanks to Nicki Hambleton for the awesome picture I used above.  I was scared, but I am passionate about what I believe in. I believe change is coming and some of it is coming from the people who were in Beijing for Learning2.0. And I was so lucky to be there too.

About Rebekah Madrid

MYP Humanities Instructor. International School Teacher in Japan. Google Certified Teacher. Apple Distinguished Educator. National Board Certified Teacher. Traveler & TV Watcher. This is where I write my thoughts about all of the above.
This entry was posted in COETAIL @YIS and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to What are we afraid of?

  1. You were awesome! By far the most heartfelt and passionate mini-keynote on the stage! Well done!

  2. betchaboy says:

    Rebekah, while I enjoyed all the mini keynotes at L2 this year, yours was the one that made me cry. Your passion, your heart, your deep care about the kids you teach, were all so evident. As I was reading your blog I realised that even though we’ve met a few times and got to hang out together in person, I don’t think I recall what subject you teach… and then I realised that’s because it’s overwhelmingly obvious that you teach students, not content. You care about what you do in a way that so few do. Thank you for reminding us all about what’s truly important about what we do.

  3. Awesome!! I didn’t realize this was on your blog but then again I’ve been pretty disconnected for the past several weeks. I love how your words brought back memories of my previous schools and also helped me put in perspective the learning we all go through on our way to the present. I also appreciated how your concluded with connecting our current efforts not only with the present and future but with the past. That is profound! I think in answer to your question, that we are afraid of that which we don’t understand. It is hard for parents to understand that education is not (Thank God!!) the same as it was when they went to school. Your presentation reminded me that we need to continue to educate parents so that they, too, will see that their kids are okay. Thank you, as well, for reminding me that even those who seem to resist change have the spirit of a risk taker otherwise they wouldn’t be with us around the world doing this madness. Finally, yes I agree that it is amazing that we get to write curriculum. This is the reason I got into education and the very essence of the “art” of teaching. Without that, I don’t know how I’d keep my soul. This was inspiring! You are inspiring!

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