Monday, March 7, 2011

Reflections of the cynic...

The team posing for a picture with Janet Wozniak (front row, extreme right).
I'm just behind her.
Photo by Irfan Darian (2011)
The end of the Apple Leadership Summit 2011 in Singapore yesterday was somewhat of a homecoming of sorts for me. Although I was not the lead person managing the students, but having spent the last month or so working very closely with the student presenters, and then seeing them truly 'blossom' on the world's stage when it mattered, has truly given me a whole new meaning to the term 'satisfaction'.

The irony of it, as a teacher, was that I had always had this believe that only students who were less able in their academic studies would be able to show true appreciation to what their teachers had done, especially when they had made it after their studies. But I was so totally wrong in that department!

What I saw was the true manifestation of what education was about. It didn't matter to me that some of them were not perfect in their presentations, or that their presentation boards were less than professionally done, or that they didn't look perfectly fitting in their somewhat oversized blazers (well at least for some of them), but what I did totally feel good about was in seeing how they had truly risen up to the occasion, when that much more was demanded out of them. And add to pull all this off at a world stage when they were barely 2 years into their high-school education was truly a remarkable achievement indeed!

On another note, I was also mindful about this feeling of letting go. That 'butterfly-in-your-stomach' feeling that usually pervades in the minds, and bellies, of parents and teachers, and especially when they worry incessantly about how their charges were going to perform at THE event! I guess this feeling is natural indeed, and I am glad to say that my worries were totally unfounded. But then again, we can never ever let go completely...can we?

Alas, the event has come and gone, and what's left right now are the memories, and reflections. I am still reeling from the satisfaction, and to answer the question that Dan Pink had posed to the audience, about asking the 'Why's' instead of the 'How's' and the 'What's', to me at least, the 'why' of doing all of this, the stress and tiredness of getting all of them ready, all these was really and truly...about and for the students!

Signing off...the cynical idealist

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

1 comment:

Loh Kwai Yin said...

Hi Irfan

Without your full commitment and close guidance, the students would not have achieved the heights they demonstrated in the 3-day event. It's heartening to see that the year of effort starts bearing fruits :)

Heartfelt appreciation to your full support, too :)