4 August 09
Part of working with 45 teachers on ICT skills when you’ve only 11 computers available to you is the fact that not everyone can be on a computer all the time.
As such, my lot this week has been to perform as song and dance man attempting to make pedagogy sexy.
A few summers ago, I had the illustrious task of making data sexy for a conference presentation.
That was 90 minutes. This has been a week of 90 minute sessions taught next door to the room where they really want to be – with the computers.
Still, it’s been good.
Yesterday, Mama Jane said, “These people came just thinking they were going to touch computers. You have given them real professional development.” That’ll make you feel good.
Tuesday, my task was to talk about the idea of Multiple Intelligences and its implications in education.
Not surprisingly, an inventory of the teachers showed very few scored highly in the logical-mathematics and verbal areas with the majority blowing kinesthetic and interpersonal out of the water.
After I pointed this out, we had a healthy discussion about the fact that most of their classes are taught using verbal instruction and asking for logic/maths based skills when we had a room of 30 teachers who didn’t count that as one of their learning strengths.
Whilst all of this was going on, Mboya sat at the back of the room with the group of teachers who scored highest in the area of musical intelligence.
As we’d been coming up with the names of various Kenyans who exemplified each intelligence, Mboya’s colleagues had listed him as a chief example.
I’d joked, that he should write a song about the day.
At the end of the session, I was mid-sentence dismissing everyone when Mboya spoke up, “May I share the song?”
He stood and sang:
Zac is a wonderful teacher,
Zac is a wonderful teacher.
He teaches with John and Jody and Lois.
These are wonderful teachers.
I stood a little shocked and completely humbled. The room applauded and laughed a little.
I started to finish my dismissal when Mboya spoke up again, “May I teach the song to everyone?”
I laughed and said, “I don’t think…” but was cut off when the room filled with teachers saying, “Yes, yes. Teach it.”
You don’t know humble, you don’t know gratitude until you stand in a classroom of adults (whom you’re pretty sure would rather be playing with computers next door) rather intently and quite literally sing a chorus of your praises.
I’m tempted to go all meta here or reach for deep reflection. Instead, I’m going to let the moment stand – a small sweet memory that I will take with me always.