May 15, 2010

Achieving schooldom

Spent the day yesterday at the Academy of Accelerated Learning school, as part of the Junior Achievement program in our city. We spent the day with kids in the third grade, taking them through a course about Our City, talking through aspects of entrepreneurship, financial literacy and work readiness.

Junior Achievement has a unique way of presenting people from the workforce to students still in school. They allow volunteers to deliver curriculum in the schools while sharing their experiences with the students. Makes me want to do the same with my alma mater.

This being our first adventure of this kind, I had two key takeaways - first, teaching a class is fun, but is not easy. In between emails, meetings and deliverables I may be stretched in my day job, but that is not as emotionally sapping as having 30 pairs of eyes on you alternating between unforgiving scrutiny and inattentive boredom. Second schools of my time in India are very different and very similar at the same time to the schools in the US. While the rules, techniques and rooms are vastly different, the kids in the schools are the same the world over.

On a related note, here is a pertinent TED article that talks about creativity in our schools and the importance of creativity for the future of mankind. Check it out after the break.

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