We have so much to learn from the wisdom of our peers, and TED talks are a great means to this end.  For those of you unfamiliar with TED talks, they are global set of conferences formed to disseminate “ideas worth spreading.”  Harrisburg Academy faculty, staff, and administrators often draw inspiration from the knowledge of colleagues across the world through these talks, which are free for viewing online.

At our November faculty meeting, Dr. Fry started the conversation by sharing a three-minute TED talk with us.  The presentation featured Terry Moore, the director of the Radius Foundation (a forum for exploring and gaining insight from different world views).  Moore delivered a bombshell… most of us have been tying our shoes incorrectly our entire lives!  Do you have problems with your shoes untying themselves on their own after a long day of walking?  Then count yourself in this group, too.

We watched as Moore crossed the laces right-over-left; pushed the right lace under the left lace and tightened it; created a loop with the right lace; lifted the left lace around the right-looped lace from back-to-front, and …SCREECHING HALT… !!! This point is where the difference is made, Moore demonstrated.  Instead of lifting the left lace around the right lace from back-to-front and pulling it through to create the tie, he showed us that the lace should actually be lifted front-to-back and pushed through.  This simple action completely changes the orientation of the knot and creates a strength that will hold it from slipping and untying itself almost indefinitely.  Try it yourself!  (I did, and no untied laces for me yet).

Independent schools (like Harrisburg Academy) and the benefits we provide to our students are much like the simple illustration of tying one’s shoe the right way — students at all schools will learn the basics, one way or another, but students attending independent schools are given the extra tools and attention that lead to stronger outcomes.  A small tweak with how kids are educated can make all the difference, and independent schools have the flexibility to make these adjustments.  We have the freedom to serve our philosophies and mission, champion diversity, and empower our teachers to create educational experiences that meet our students’ individual needs.  We are also afforded the latitude to instill a sense of importance about hard work, leadership, personal responsibility, and good citizenship through what our students learn in the classroom and in their co-curricular activities.

Watch the TED talk yourself by clicking here, and let your life (and the lives of your family members) be transformed by taking a second look at what you are doing, why you do it that way, and how you might do it BETTER by investing in a change.