Amberley Laverick discusses her experience of education outside the classroom

In late 2011, tickets to TEDxLondon fell into my inbox.  For those uninitiated, ‘TED’ is a non-profit devoted to ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’.  It began in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: technology, entertainment and design. TED talks began as a simple attempt to share what happens at TED with the world and rapidly attracted a global audience in the millions. The theme of this particular event was ‘The Education Revolution’.

Held at the Roundhouse in Camden, the place was filled with a hugely diverse audience. The speakers ranged from a head teacher pushing for technology innovation in schools, developers of new technology for education, a scientist, a young university student, musicians, even Jude Kelly – the Artistic Director of The Southbank Centre.

Throughout the day I talked to a wide range of people; a poet, a woman who set up breakfast clubs in schools and someone who works at a newspaper run entirely by young people. Amazingly throughout the entire conference I did not speak to a single teacher!

So many people are involved in education outside of the classroom; so many people have an interest in the future of our world. On any given day, as I churn through OFSTED friendly lessons, I find it very easy to forget this vibrant community eager to work alongside schools to create engaging and forward thinking programs.

Last week I read about The Future Project, a non-profit organisation in the US who views hope and engagement as the key to educational success. Within individual schools students, teachers and community members develop an event or project about something that is important to them.  One example of a project already carried out is that of high school students running creative writing classes in local primary school. The project teaches children that they are capable of great things by giving them the tools to do so. These are the things that will produce innovative, successful people who will rise to the challenge of an increasingly unstable future.

Sometimes it can be very beneficial to peek over the school walls. Found on the other side is a whole world of imaginative folk who fancy giving us a helping hand.

Amberley Laverick
Supply Teacher 2012 – 2013
Smart Teachers

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