I have been meaning to watch this talk for a while, but as with many things it kept being put on the back burner. When L. encouraged me to follow through, I was glad that I did.
While I have enjoyed Eggers’ writing in the past, this was the first time I have seen him speak. He meanders in the beginning a bit, and admittedly I was worried about what type of impression he was making, but about half way through, and on to the end, he finally starts putting forward something you can grab on to. The main concept I took away was community building. We ask our schools to do so much, but how does the rest of the community stand with schools, or connect with schools, to help them achieve all we ask? This concept is certainly not the cure-all, but it is something novel, exciting, and perhaps the start of something greater. The idea also does not have to stay limited to English and writing. In every community there are people who have skills and expertise in so many different areas that could help teachers to inspire, support, or engage students. One of the key points he makes in this talk is that volunteers need not give up a lot of time, just that the time is quality.
Schools should spill out into the world, and the world should spill into schools. Besides, who doesn’t need supplies to ward off scurvy?
I particularly agreed, and identified, with his thought that a solid community comes from solid simple relationships, and that solid communities can lead to great things. I’m fond of saying big things come from little things. Be sure to let me know which parts you agreed with, disagreed with, connected with, or questioned.
If you haven’t read anything by Eggers yet, I certainly encourage you to do so. What would you offer to help students in if you had the chance?