In hindsight, I’m an idiot

It’s the end of an intense week in Buenos Aires a week has passed since me an my colleague Frida Gustafsson Wennö arrived and as I sit on my bed and reflecting on the events I realize I’ve been an idiot. There hasn’t been much room for reflection, we’ve been in do-do-do-mode. I learnt a new expression from an Argentinean friend last last night, he said: -Ahh, you work like me! They accuse us of not having a strategy’s but that’s not true, we are on the “No plan-plan”! Anyway…

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We have been running a pedagogical leadership program for teachers and managers in and around a school in Buenos Aires, “La Banderita”, School N° 16 de 5 and this our third trip here. The impact of our efforts has been hard to assess tu us, in my own opinion it’s been marvelous and frustrating at the same time: The sessions in BA have been honest, packed with great people and experiences, we always leave this city on a high note. The frustration sets in when you return and realise how many obstacles our Argentinean friends have to overcome and how sluggish transformation in education really is.

The aim for this week was to introduce a “Toolbox for development”, a set of theories and methods that we have chosen in collaboration with de Ministry of education with the idea that teaches and leaders should adapt and use these strategies in their own context. The motto of the week became “This program isn’t about you getting a ready made cake, it’s a professional exchange where you learn how to use some new ingredients and where we discuss the recipe in order to make a new cake with BA flavor”

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Yesterday we had a session with all the teachers at the school and that was when I realized that have been a complete idiot thinking that progress has been slow slow and erratic. What happened was that the teachers “suddenly” took our tools and models and made them their own, something that hadn’t happened before. They tweeked them, added, removed, made some kind of mash-up and surprise (not) -It worked!

Why I’m an idiot? I’m the one who have been preaching for years that relationships are the heart of learning, that change requires trust “If you ask me to take the risk of something new, you better be a person I can rely on”. So, is progress sluggish? -No, it’s human. It took us three trips to BA to get to know each other, to be friends. Maybe it’s only then we can really transform education. My mistake, it won’t happen again!

Thanks for the learning BA, Love you!

Over and out

/Ante

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