I have attended several trainings for Transformational Presence Leaders and Coaches by Alan Seale, and was very thrilled when I was given the opportunity to share #skolvåren, that is #school spring, in his newsletter The Transformer.
by Helena Roth
(Helena Roth from Sweden is a graduate of the Transformational Presence Leadership and Coach Training program. She first shared ”School Spring” with our community at the first Transformational Presence Global Summit in The Netherlands in March 2013.)
Three and a half years ago, I became the chairwoman of the parent association of my children’s two schools here in Sweden. Thus began my journey into the world of schools. I have read, watched, listened, talked, and then read some more, until, more recently, my interest has become a raging passion for school development. Or, better said, a passion for creating a world that works, with schools as the foremost pathway to get there.
Having set aside some money in my company, I decided to dedicate 2013 as my year for school development, even though I didn’t know if, and if so, how, this project would put bread on my table. I also took advantage of the ”early bird” price for the Transformational Presence Global Summit that was held in The Netherlands in March, knowing that the energy kick I would receive from the Summit would serve me for the rest of 2013. Little did I know when I first reserved my place at the Summit that it would not turn out to be a kick to get anything started, but instead would be ”superfuel” to kick into overdrive what had already begun.
On February 15th at 10 pm while on Twitter, I made a connection with a teacher in Varberg, Sweden. We began planning a meeting in Varberg for June 18th and 19th to discuss schools and society, and we opened the meeting to anyone else who wanted to join us. This was the start of #skolvåren, or #schoolspring in English, paraphrasing the ”Arabic Spring” and tapping into the power of life that spring brings.
With #schoolspring, we began by asking ”Why?” in order to find the direction for ”How?” The Swedish school debate is in a sorry state, with lots of name-calling and blame games, and is almost solely concerned with ”How.” There are no visions, no talk about the world we want to live in today and tomorrow. Therefore, it seems that we as a society no longer really know what schools are for – what their purpose is. So in #skolvåren, we ask ”Why?” over and over again as a first step in gaining clarity about what education in today’s world needs to be about.
Now, three months later, the event in Varberg is fully booked at 130 registered participants with more than twenty people on a waiting list. Among the participants will be politicians and major business CEOs, as well as many interested citizens who are eager to explore together ”Why school?” The school debate in Sweden has started to come alive, and #schoolspring is clearly fueling the conversation.
My personal goal is to change the school systems on a global scale by 2020, and I know there are many people around the world with similar interests and goals. Sweden is certainly not the only country where education systems are in trouble. This is a global issue. For me, the larger goal is to create a world that works. I believe that vibrant, empowering, creative, and effective schools can be one of the most impactful ways to do that. School systems of today are one of the primary filters that most children pass through. So why not ensure that we have set up the best systems we can possibly have, enabling and empowering children to be all that they can be? That’s the world I want to live in – a world where each and every person is encouraged, coached, challenged, and expected to be all they can be.
There are many signs that this wants to happen, including well over 28,000 visits to the #schoolspring blog and more than 1,400 followers on Twitter (@skolvaren). In addition, we have attracted the attention of Richard Gerver, author of the best-selling book, Creating Tomorrow’s Schools Today. His interest in our cause is also making a difference.
I invite anyone who is interested in transforming education to be in touch with me to talk about how we can work together to take this movement to the world.
Thank you Alan for providing this wonderful opportunity to share #skolvåren across the globe – because for me, the goal is a global transformation of school systems, in order to create a world that works. Because I believe we have not reached the pinnacle of human achievements yet – I believe we can do better.
Are you with me on that?