Deb isn’t going to let a number define her…

What an absolute pleasure it is to share with you Deborah Van De Beek’s TEDxFrankston Youth talk.

I was fortunate enough to teach Deb in our English class when she was in Year 10. She was highly motivated, a sharer and profoundly passionate about the causes she believed in. Nothing has changed – in fact, as you will see from this talk, her passion shines through.

Will I be at all surprised if 10 years from now Deb is leading and championing a great cause? Not one bit. And if Deb is at the helm, you can bet she will have a pool of talent surrounding her. People are attracted to bright flames who lead the way.

Deb’s message in the video above is one all students should hear. It was articulated almost as well in my classroom today, when one of my Year 9 students gave a presentation about how she was not going to let test scores define her and limit her potential.

Our students today are living in a world where they see and hear of success that comes from fulfilling potential and committing yourself to the things that drive you. When I listened to my Year 9 student talk today and saw the chorus of approval that followed her speech, I was encouraged. No Naplan result is going to be their defining moment. They have the fortitude to see that what lies within can make all the difference.

Watch Deb’s talk and share it around. Preferably in a classroom nearby.

*Thank you Shane Hunt for organising TEDxFrankston Youth and selecting Deb as the opening speaker. It was a wonderful day and a credit to your organisational skills.

School’s out Friday

You really just have to take the time to watch this video in its entirety. This kayaker has an amazing encounter with a Blue Whale, and his decision to peer under the water to capture images of this mammoth creature lunge feeding is bravery beyond my capability. My heart was pounding just watching this footage, heaven only knows what levels of adrenalin must have been charging through this guy’s body. That’s the intimidating thing about the ocean as far as I’m concerned. All looks well on the surface, but you have no idea what is happening beneath you. For some, that kind of risk is exciting, for others, it’s a little beyond comprehension.

I like thinking about the complexities of the human condition, and how experiences pose different sorts of challenges based on the kind of person you are. I like how being a teacher gives you an opportunity to help students understand their capabilities, and I love it when I see inspiring teachers take students in directions they may have never contemplated for themselves. I’ve just returned from our school’s Speech Night celebrations, and I saw students who would never normally be involved, performing a percussion based routine  that was a real highlight of the evening. The man who teaches them is brimming with enthusiasm for what he does, and you can see how it has rubbed off on these kids. It was a joyful moment, exactly the kind of thing you see happening in schools all the time when students are exposed to passionate people. Our Head Girl spoke of teachers with passion for what they do when she addressed the audience. It reminded me that we must never lose sight of the need to foster our love of what we do and share it with the young people we teach. It can make all the difference.

Hopefully, some hard work this weekend will make a difference to our home renovations that seem to have a life of their own. The washing machine packed it in last weekend, and the purchase of a front loader has seen 30 yr old shelves torn out and the need for a new storage system and a coat of paint. That, combined with the the ongoing back room plastering and paint job, means we’ll be busy, that’s for sure!

I hope your weekend sounds a little more exciting that the one heading my way. Make the most of it.

Enjoy. : )