Now it’s been a week since I held my lecture in Berlin and I've had time to digest all the impressions and feelings. Now I would like to tell you more about the conference.
The publishing industry represented 17 European countries and I had the opportunity to take part in international school issues through a publisher’s perspective. The one of the main discussions during the conference was: “How do we create schools that meet the needs of the future?” The state of affairs and conditions, of course differ in each these countries which brought me to reflected upon the same differences between Swedish municipalities.... At the opening party we discovered what we did have in common – our mutual interest in discovering innovating ways to move forward so that children and young people are given the best possibilities to achieve in their schoolwork.
Our discussion quickly moved on to the topic of motivation and the desire to learn as a driving force for creating engaging environments that meets our students' different needs. This led us on to discussing the beliefs of how a like school this would look like or be the development of such a school was compared like moving up a huge staircase to get to the next level. This was a familiar subject for me and I could identify the different stages in development. I was happy to share my experiences on this subject during my lecture. According to the feedback I received afterwards, my lecture gave clarity and understanding this subject with coherent examples of long-term development.
I received many comments after the lecture, all of them positive! Many people thanked me for sharing my experiences so openly – not only achievements but also setbacks and difficulties. This and my views on school improvement are all described in my book.
What was my lecture about? If you haven’t guessed… it was based on the book I wrote about a school system’s journey of change – with digital tools. I also spoke about the research that we were a part of as well as the importance of having strong and close relations with politicians and other participants to spread information and knowledge about the ongoing progress!
I’ve been nervous about this conference since February and now it’s over! :-)
Imagine the anticipation and the feelings dealing with the challenge of doing a 90 minute lecture in ENGLISH! In one moment, I was absolutely sure that it wasn’t possible, “I can’t do it!” Then in the next moment, I’m thinking, “Get a grip on yourself! This is exactly what you expect of others – to go outside their comfort zone and do something new and really challenging. Put yourself in the situation yourself and practice what you preach, Arja! :-)
Now it’s over and I'm sooo happy and proud of myself. I did it! It exceeded all my expectations! This opportunity to develop really took me to the next level – having the courage to stand up and hold a lecture in English, for such a large audience. I’ll never forget the magical feeling when I stood there, totally calm, and all the words were there. I can only say that this was the feeling of joy and happiness!
Have a nice and sunny Sunday!
Ps. Berlin is a wonderful city and I love to visit again!
Arja Holmstedt Svensson
A blog about my work and assignments as a Change Leader. The posts will be about my experiences – new experiences, meeting new people in new environments.