Sunday, April 21, 2013

Leadership Summit for the big.....

The last few months at Indus seem to have been dominated by Leadership. It probably feels this way as MYP (Adam) and PYP (Wills) did their leadership summits one after the other. Anyway Ads' was first which was some time ago....which yes means my blogging is somewhat behind....not because my blogging interest has waned but I've been busy and as I catch up with my blog over the next week should become apparent.

As usual with Indus events, the build up seems somewhat chaotic, haphazard and then erupts in full panic. Communication with parents is late and lacking. But the event itself, the 8th grade leadership summit blew me away!

It was professional, confident, thoughtful and sincere. Several of the kids gave their I-led speeches. These kids were miked up, expressive, clear and concise and heartfelt. They drew on their own experiences to make their point and best of all had an action plan. Their chosen topics "Stop the eruption of corruption", "Children should be learning not earning"....

Ads was on the panel. Six eighth graders and a moderator. Topic Daniel Pink's book "A Whole New Mind" (which is actually an interesting read) which is about the move from an informational to a conceptual age as computer technology takes over a lot of the provision, analysis etc. of information. The topic for the panel: how eduction should adapt to this perceived shift. Some questions prepared in advance, but also discussion and questions from the floor. It was really impressive to see the kids (including Ads) think on their feet and formulate sensible, comprehensive and lucid ideas.

So many mornings I curse the Indus formal uniform but I have to admit on days like these - it looks really smart, pulls everyone together and offers no distraction from what the kids are actually saying.

I have a book, a sort of drop in/drop out book "Speeches which changed the world" which includes speeches from the Sermon on the Mount and Martin Luther to Bob Geldof's short, bleep, bleep, bleep Live Aid one-liner. General Ray's speech was up there. I'm not normally a fan of General Ray's but his speech today left Ads pumped and me....taking notes.....I never do that! A speech that was directed mainly to the kids, on the cusp of adulthood......"are you preparing yourselves for life" The difference between being creative and innovative. The myth that leaders are born, you are born with potential but only with effort will you become extraordinary. The importance of reading - it your vocabulary is shrinking so is your thinking. If you don't read, you cant reflect. If you don't reflect you won't act. 
The myth that todays kids lack imagination and perspective. Examples of what the black and white vision of kids, the simplicity of kids and their eternal optimism can achieve. TED 2013 - the 15 year old who came up with a cheap efficient detector of pancreatic cancer, the 18 year old with a cheap efficient way to recycle nuclear waste and 17 year old a bacteria to effectively eat plastic. 

 Congrats to Indus, 8th graders and teachers and espacially Ads and his buds, blazered up!!

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