Here are some of the highlights of the East Asia Regional Conference of Overseas Schools (EARCOS) Administrators’ Conference that I attended in Manila.
- Alan Atkisson, a keynoter from Sweden, presented global indicators of the effects of our changing world. He shared his four-point strategy for sustainability that can be used to teach students to live in a global society. His compass of sustainability—consisting of nature, economy, society, and well-being—was a quick way to remember the major areas that our world has unraveled and solutions to correcting the damages.
- Geoff Green, another keynoter, shared adventures of his expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic … with school-age children. Geoff, who is Canadian, has found a way to inspire what he calls “21st Century Generation G” with the greatest classroom on earth. He has taken over 100 expeditions and thousands of kids and their teachers to both polar regions. Students come from places such as Harlem, New York, and China, representing over 40 countries.
- Japan’s Jesper Koll shared the economic picture of the world and reviewed the interdependence of the world economy. Educators worldwide have been affected in the delivery of services. He shared the importance of creating a world of economically savvy students.
I was not only in Manila to learn from others, but to share my expertise as well. My workshop “Building Effective Teams,” gave educators techniques for creating relationships that benefit students and teachers. Techniques shared include strategies to strengthen positive attitudes, create a healthy work environment, create dialogue with staff that focuses on student success, and create an environment for student success.
I was surprised to find that there were three principals with Indiana connections in the workshop! One principal from Hong Kong grew up in Indianapolis and another grew up in northern Indiana. And Ellen White, a principal in Singapore, has a son who attends Purdue University. We are planning to connect when she visits him in Indiana this Thanksgiving. It really is a small world! No wonder some statisticians say the population in Indiana is shrinking, Hoosiers are everywhere in the world!
—Diane Cargile, NAESP President