On a Tuesday morning we have a presentation for the staff which we know will be inspiring. Usually it is a teacher who has had a breakthrough with their professional inquiry - an aha moment that they are keen to share. This morning, though, we had Alex Boulton, a year 12 student who for his impact project is writing a book about the influence of black music on western culture. Alex described for us how he approaches his project. His passion and confidence were inspirational. He is highly self motivated and each Wednesday he sets himself a goal which he always achieves. He enjoys the role his mentor plays and it is the support of his mentor that keeps him motivated and excited. (Next project day I will video Alex and add it to this blog because I cannot do him justice).
After his presentation I was talking with him about himself and where he is heading. It was so exciting to hear him talk about what the impact project meant for him. He said that in his first project he wrote music for Waterbabies and how he had felt so inspired by that. But he had always seen himself as being a movie maker and so in his next project he did film-making. Although he worked hard and enjoyed the project he did not have the same enthusiasm. In the current project he is working again with music and his realisation is that his career needs to involve music. He LOVES working with any aspect of music. It motivates him and he loses himself in it. So he is very grateful for the impact projects that have given him the space to come to that realisation.
I am delighted that Alex has come to that realisation. This is exactly what the intention of the impact projects always was - to help students find their place in the world.
Our vision is that at ASHS we will nurture each, inspire each other and empower each other. Alex certainly inspired us this morning.
I am also more convinced than ever that this is exactly what 21st century learning is all about, It is giving students space, space which is not limited to the teacher, the curriculum or the assessment. It is giving them space to be who they really are in the world.