…and because of that….reflections from #ade2011

I have just been at the ADE Asia Insitute in HCMC and I feel that I have arrived back at home with the bends; I am giddy with exhaustion and need days in a decompression chamber to unravel and process the incredibly rich and intense experiences of the last seven days. I am going to take Pav’s advice and post this reflection because as the day goes on I see that I need some closure so that I can tackle the mountain of work that awaits me.

WAB’s Mission Statement is Connect, Inspire, Challenge and Make a Difference and for me, that really sums up the ADE Institute.

Western Academy of Beijing - mission statement

Connect – So many rich conversations with a diverse range of 68 awesome educators (60 new ADEs plus the other 8 Advisory Board members).  The connections, in the words of Karen Carpenter have ‘only just begun….’

Inspire – Words cannot describe how many times I was inspired – from each and every double-click video to the amazing thought processes and actions. I think that the Saigon 360 nailed it for me.

Challenge – My personal challenge was to appear ‘worthy’ of my place on the advisory board in addition to the those 3 letters: ADE. It was a humbling experience. My game plan is, as ever, to mask inadequacies with humour – if you don’t have anything profound to share, at least make a stab at humour.

….and because of that…I hope I made a difference

 

Some initial take-aways
  • Never turn away from criticism – look at it straight in the eye, learn and grow
  • I’m not the only one that processes by talking it through – but I also need quiet time to reflect and a good 30 minutes in the pool each morning helped
  • Listen, listen and listen
  • Diversity is a wonderful thing
And on a more practical level:
  • prepare cover lessons for the first 3 days back in school (so brain-drained that you can act like a cover teacher and read out the instructions)
  • have a trusted advisor to prep you for any meetings 10 minutes before the meeting and also prompt you in meetings by ichatting you your notes, links and other resources
  • remember that not everyone in the building wants to share your experiences – a quick ‘it was awesome’ is better than a blow-by-blow, minute-by-minute account.