Participant President Blog: Things will change because they have to
24 September 2012
Momentum is one of those words that I both overuse and use incorrectly.
Apparently it literally means the force or speed of a movement of a physical object. I tend to use it for a gut feeling about how a sporting event is going based on the psychology of the players. I also used it in a vague sense to describe the feeling with classes that I taught; when a topic was going well then the class were building momentum. It represented all those intangibles, all those difficult to measure things, like the look in a child’s eyes or the body language of an athlete that gave me the conviction that things were changing. That success was coming.
As Brett reeled off the list of things ten years ago that people, smart people, believed were impossible and Teach First have now achieved at Challenge 2012 on Saturday, I couldn’t help but realise that once again my sense of possibility was simply too small. If we are to achieve our vision it means expanding our sense of possibility, then driving that change through.
Walking around the fair and talking to stallholders I realised the incredible ability that some people have to dream. I chatted to ambassadors about their ideas and social enterprises, some were in that fledgling stage, preparing to challenge the status quo, others are now a part of the education landscape and it seems ridiculous that they didn’t exist a few years ago. Our movement needs dreamers, and it needs drivers to plan, strategize and make them reality. On Saturday’s evidence we have both. To achieve our vision we need our community to dream, to think outside the paradigm of how things are, and instead think of how they should be. Especially when we don’t know how to get there.
As I returned home from a morning catching up with old friends from the Yorkshire cohort who had come together to be a part of the 10k run and swarm the banks of the Thames with thousands of people running in T-shirts proudly stating that “Education Matters”, I picked up a message. A friend of mine who I had invited to the day through a social enterprise I was a part of sent me a message about how much he had enjoyed the day; which was nice. Then it ended with the bombshell: “I’m applying for the programme in 2013”.
He’ll be a great teacher.
Forget the technical definition, that’s momentum.