Well-Being: How Do We Grow Communities of Wellness? Part 3 of 3

How Do We Grow Communities of Wellness Going Forward? How do we Address Transformation in Public Education? Well-Being Part 3 of 3

Consider a Structure for Transformation

It is a well-known fact that our school system is not structured to produce the outcomes we need in our current society. The system was formed when industries employed most workers. Assembly line workers were needed to make our economy work and people who were creative innovators could upset the economy.

But, in the 21st century, innovative, creative thinkers are what can set us apart as a
society and keep us on the cusp of an evolving world of constant change. How do we
develop innovative, creative thinkers inside the public-school system? In “The
Surprising Truth about what Motivates Us,” Daniel H. Pink states “For artists, scientists,inventors, schoolchildren, and the rest of us, intrinsic motivation—the drive to do something because it is interesting, challenging, and absorbing—is essential for high levels of creativity.” Pink is not saying that creativity is developed in isolation. However,the school system must encourage individual growth challenging students to develop their thinking and creative abilities fully. This will allow them to make the greatest contribution to a constantly changing society. It is essential that a new structure for a transformed school system is focused on developing leaders that are innovative,creative, critical thinkers. These leaders must have outstanding communication skills and be able to collaborate with others, benefiting from the synergy created.

What would it take to transform the school system?

One school at a time? One community at a time? If people are to buy into the changes, the process should be organic. The community must be totally involved. That would include businesses, parents, educators, community centers, people in religious institutions, anywhere there are people in the community.

We must come together and generate discussions through town halls, social media and everywhere people gather. When each individual experiences a sense of contribution, they also have a sense of ownership. And that is powerful! The school would be recognized as the hub of the community, the place of refuge, the gathering place for community meetings and events. A safe place for all community members to learn and grow. During weekends and all times of the day, the school would be used and a real sense of shared experiences, exploration of ideas, and creative projects would begin and be nurtured in this hub.

Who will transform the schools?

Maybe it is up to entrepreneurs who have such a passion for education that they become experts and thought leaders…thought leaders who are action oriented. Brave thought leaders who are visionaries willing and open to create organically, asking thought-provoking questions, fielding conversations, making sure there is buy-in from every level in a community. There could be educational thought leaders who educate and train, facilitate, coach and mentor. They will use these modes to inspire transformation. Most of all, they will listen and be open to consider the views, opinions and ideas of others and bring them back to the community for next steps. And they must be supported by a community of experienced educational thought-leaders at the national and/or global level.

Utilizing the Unemployed Teachers

Recently an education specialist, Iyad Abualrub from University of Oslo, Norway,
contacted me. He has a vision to support the thousands of wonderfully gifted teachers graduating from the Faculty of Education who can’t get jobs as teachers. What if they received training in an area of education in which they are passionate i.e. communication skills, team-building, facilitating, creativity training? What if they were supported in gaining experience in their niche? They could be paired with experienced educational thought leaders and go about the globe listening, facilitating and instigating change from the ground up. These bright, young leaders could be entrepreneurs making a tremendous difference in education. Right now, our graduates are a huge resource not being tapped.

Another resource is recently retired teachers who still have a burning passion to make a difference, have a growth mindset and have decades of experience to draw on. You might be interested in listening to this TEDTalk about the untapped masters doing what they feel called to do. Iyad Abualrub and I would like to instigate a conversation with other educational leaders. We are seeking leaders who have a desire to support graduates in using their skills and passions to support the educational transformation,which is so overdue.

I invite you to contact me at mb@margaretboersma.com if this is of interest to you.


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