I just spent the most amazing weekend being consistently inspired by fabulous speakers from all around the world. I have been encouraging everyone to attend RSCON (if you missed it, you can see the archives of each session by clicking here) this weekend, and, coincidentally, San Antonio hosted a TEDx event that I was fortunate enough to attend. I think I will be floating on the great ideas from both conferences for the next month!
I don’t want to lose this feeling of motivation and inspiration once I return to the real world, so I thought I would just jot down some of the awesome take-aways that I got from all of the amazing people I heard speak. Today, I thought I would give you the TEDx San Antonio observations I made. (The videos of these presentations should be online in the next three weeks.) Tomorrow – my RSCON impressions!
Eric Fletcher – Although his talk was not directly aimed at education, Fletcher’s presentation seemed to clearly connect to our field. Declared legally blind when he was a child, Fletcher and his parents refused to allow that diagnosis affect his life. A couple of quotes I took: “How often have benchmarks resulted in inaccurate conclusions?” “Danger is in relying on benchmarks constantly.” “The critical measure of vision is not defined by what the eyes can see but what is believed deep in the heart.”
Cary Clack – In his moving piece about a man who he observed visiting the crypt of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. , Cary Clack says, “The only problem with nonviolence is its name. It’s defined by what it is not.” He also said, “We are obligated to confront evil and to try to overcome it.”
Myric Polhemus – This director of Human Resources at H.E.B. shared about the importance of being “vulnerable to criticism” – particularly from the “productive malcontents”. He was talking about the value of this in the business world, but I definitely think this is important in our world, too. Teachers and administrators need to be able to listen to criticism from teachers, students, and administrators with the hope they will hear comments that will help them to improve, rather than being self-defensive.
Nick Longo – As the founder of Geekdom, a collaborative workspace in San Antonio, Nick Longo knows all about being an entrepreneur. One of his great quotes was, “Business is the mindset. Entrepreneurship is the heartset.” He spoke about the importance of collaboration. “We are all makers of something. Every person you meet knows something.” As someone who is benefiting so much from my PLN, and as a teacher who is working hard to encourage my students to collaborate, Nick’s message reinforces the importance and benefits of working with others.
Roman Baca – This Marine veteran spoke about the importance of doing what scares you. He has expressed the experience of war through dance, and has gone to Iraq to work with children to “teach them to choreograph a dance work about their challenges, misconceptions, fears, joys, and their hopes for a safer Iraq.” Roman’s work has not only helped him to heal his own PTSD, but to allow the children to heal. He will be bringing more Marines over on his next trip to Iraq, and will undoubtedly make a difference in the lives of those Marines as well. I love that Roman is using his passion to make a difference – the foundation of #choose2matter.
Derek Sivers – As one of the transitions at TEDx San Antonio, this video from Derek Sivers (if you haven’t watched this video, you should; it’s hilarious!) was shown. I particularly love the last part, “If you really care about starting a movement, have the courage to follow and show others how to follow. And when you find a lone nut doing something great, have the guts to be the first one to stand up and join in.”