TED Feeds My Soul
I've posted about TED before. This year's conference is coming to a close. As I read blog posts from the attending bloggers, I am often deeply touched by the power of hope, the affirmation of the positive, the actualization of creativity, and the dense, saturating belief that we can change the negative forces that limit us as a species on a delicate planet. The exact opposite of the evening news, the exact opposite of fear-based politics, this conference is transformative: bringing together luminaries that can lift us above our present to see a bright way forward. What greater gift?
But enough about what this conference does for me. This post is really about one of the three TED Prize 2008 winners and what he wants to do for public schools, yes, for public schools!
The Prize Itself...
The TED Prize was created as a way of taking the inspiration, ideas and resources that are generated at TED and using them to make a difference. Although the winners receive a prize of $100,000 each, that's the least of what they get. The real prize is that they are granted a WISH. This is the forum to help make their wishes come true.
One of the 2008 Recipients...
In this post I want to call attention to one of the TED Prize 2008 Winners: Dave Eggers. Speaking to the audience, this is his wish:
"I wish that you - you personally and every creative individual and organization you know - will find a way to directly engage with a public school in your area and that you'll then tell the story of how you got involved, so that within a year we have 1,000 examples of transformative partnerships."
The 1,000 brilliant people who attend and present at this annual conference each directly engaging with a public school?! (Just look at the list of people who participated in the conference this year!) I find this an overwhelmingly joyous thought. Educators often are so consumed with the distractions of NCLB that we forget to seek out and build rich partnerships with people in our communities who have and are willing to share giftedness that will transform the life of a child.
This website, Once Upon a School, has been started to facilitate the realization of this wish. I encourage you to explore it, engage with the project, get ideas that you can implement in your own school/classroom, and find ways to make this wish become real in schools (your own?) across this nation!
On a Personal Note...
I hope that a new administration in Washington will unfetter our schools from the shackles that are leaving all of our children, teachers, and schools behind and constitute policy that will allow our profession to reconnect with the substance of our soul: empowering all of the children in our care to reach their highest potential.