"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Helen Gym Philadelphia Hero

When parents unite for public schools.

From Helen Gym: 
By far one of the most intense experiences of my life was going on stage atTEDx Philadelphia at the beautiful Temple Performing Arts Center on March 28. TEDx is quite the production, and my fellow speakers were simply stunning. From the luminous Natalie Nixon who talked about seeing life through jazz, to talks on education from Science Leadership Academy student Nikki Adeli and YouthBuild Executive Director Simran Sidhu, to Austin Seraphin conveying the wonders of accessibility tools when you grow up blind, TEDx was a tribute to the creativity, vitality and energy of so many of our city’s best denizens. I have to say that I struggled mightily in this context, not the least of which is that I decided to largely forego a slide show and do a talk about collective values which engage us around our schools. I spoke about public spaces and collective responsibility for preserving, fighting for and uplifting our public schools despite their struggles. I also realized that when you don’t have slides, you end up on stage in front of 1200 people, 18 minutes on the clock and just your voice and ideas. Not sure I would entirely recommend that approach unless you’re someone like Bryan Stevenson, but I have to thank the entire TEDx audience and organizers for giving me the opportunity and space to try. You can catch all the TEDx talks on YouTube in a few weeks.
From Philadelphia's heroic teacher Helen Gym:
Philadelphia Magazine: 75 Most Powerful Philadelphians
If rabble-rousing is a sport, looks like Parents United for Public Education is a champion! April’s Philadelphia Magazine named me one of their 75 most influential people in Philadelphia and one of the top 10 movers and shakers in civics. 

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