13 d’octubre 2011

Nap time heroes

On post-practicum syndrome. The dreams about misbehaving kids have ceased along with the pressure of constant creativity and time management (I should be planning). I am slowly becoming better at doing nothing and having the longest sleeps and naps, hmmmm.
In my affordable city holidays I have recovered the good habit of reading.

There are some Time magazines spread in the house. I browsed the "Time 100" issue and realized there were 3 educators among the most influential people in 2011.

Each of them had a goal and they thought long term. They decided to advocate for education, some did after an experience, a sort of revelation that made them change career direction completely.

I applaud these people and respect them as role models.

I would like to share this information specially with those who have decided to follow the path of education, our very noble and very underrated profession:

Geoffrey Canada (born January 13, 1952) is an African American social activist and educator. Since 1990, Canada has been president and CEO of the Harlem Children's Zone in Harlem, New York, an organization which states its goal is to increase high school and college graduation rates among students in Harlem.
The organisation today covers 100 city blocks and serves 8,000 kids, providing not just a good education but also early-childhood programs, after-school services and guidance to help parents play a key role in their kids' learning. Every day, Canada is driven by a deep belief that all children can succeed, regardless of race, wealth or ZIP code.

Ron Bruder is the founder of the Education for Employment Foundation (EFE), which hosts programs that teach Middle Eastern youth basic workplace skills.
on Sept. 11, 2001, Ron Bruder suffered through the hell of not knowing if his daughter Jessica, who worked near the World Trade Center, was dead or alive. Jessica was fine, but Bruder's life had changed forever. He had been an extremely successful real estate developer, but now he had a new mission. He spent the next few years traveling through the Middle East, looking for ways he might help. Over time, he learned there was a need for practical education programs, programs that taught high school and college graduates skills they could bring to the workplace. And so Bruder, 63, began the Education for Employment Foundation (EFE), first in Jordan — where at-risk youth learn air-conditioning repair — then in the West Bank and Gaza (where engineers are taught to be construction managers), Yemen, Egypt, Morocco and, soon, Tunisia. EFE is growing exponentially: there will be 1,300 graduates in 2011, 2,000 projected for 2012 and 5,000 for 2013.

Azim Premji, chairman of the information-technology powerhouse Wipro Ltd.

A pioneer of India's IT-outsourcing industry, Premji helped unleash a generation of skilled technical professionals who make up India's growing middle class.

Inspired by his belief that a strong educational system is essential to sustaining the economic growth needed to pull millions of Indian citizens out of poverty, Premji, 65, is deeply involved in efforts to provide universal primary education in India. The Azim Premji Foundation supports programs that reach more than 2.5 million children.

He also made a $2 billion donation to his foundation, the largest charitable contribution in the history of modern India. Ultimately, how he approaches philanthropy could prove to be just as important as how much he gives. His philanthropic work has been characterized by collaboration and transparency. He is setting a remarkable example for those who have benefited so enormously from India's economic expansion and are looking for ways to give back.

Henry Kaniuk, or H-dog (last row, left). During his long teaching career he has been tempted to quit more than once, or twice. But still there, showing love and passion for teaching. His experience and know-how was rewarded with a position as staff support. Thanks to him, some pre-service teachers have found their inner teachers, they have received first class support and he has managed to turn many generations of beginning teachers into a caring and supporting group with a greater sense of self-confidence and humour!
It is great to feel part of a change and see students progress and it is also great to know someone is there for you to help you out when the boat rocks a bit. Thanks to him we have learnt to ask for help. Be able to find emotional support, a help needed as much as the professional one. And as he says: if you need to, there is always a box of tissues in his office.

Admirable. Thank you.