“So how did you spend your weekend? Anything interesting?”
This is the stuff of Monday morning conversations in many walks of life – and so it is in our staffroom.
“I went to this amazing education conference,” I reply enthusiastically. I can feel the spirit drain from the room. The words “busman” and “holiday” come to mind.
Well I don’t care, because at this particular conference I got to hear – for free – Richard Gerver talking about the change our schools need in order to engage children. I will quote shamelessly from his website:
Gerver began his working life as an actor who worked as an advertising copywriter to make ends meet. He began a teaching career in 1992 and rose through the ranks fast being identified by the school’s inspectorate in 1997 as one of the most outstanding teachers in the country. By 2005, he had won the prestigious School Head Teacher of the Year Award at the British National Teaching Awards for his work in leading a school on the brink of closure to becoming one of the most innovative in the world. Gerver developed his organisational philosophy of living, learning and laughing which reached his full development during his time as Head Teacher.
By 2003, Gerver was working with Tony Blair’s Government as an advisor on education policy. In 2006, his work was celebrated at The UNESCO World Arts Education Conference in Lisbon, Portugal and in the same year he was invited to Shanghai to speak about education transformation to members of the Chinese Government.
You can watch him here and in a few other clips in YouTubeLand. He is interesting, inspirational and makes it feel like an exciting time to be involved with education.