On Friday, the Seniors sold over half their Prom tickets, and the Jr Prom went off without a hitch in the Southside. It was a testament in procrastination (for the seniors) and a great event (for the juniors) and the surest sign of any that the school year is rapidly approaching it's finale.
But that's not what I want to talk about today; today I'd like to rewind a few days to TEDxBaldwinHighSchool. This was the second year of the "conference" and I have to say, we learned quite a lot from year 1. While the first year produced a plethora of great talks, and was a learning experience for everyone, there was much to improve for this year's event. The sessions were shorter and designed to meet two different groups: the working adults and the students in the classroom. The afternoon sessions featured primarily students and teachers, while the evening highlighted on the working adults. While anyone could attend either session, this gave a great opportunity for students to stop down and see their peers. The event was well attended, well broadcast, and the talks were hit out of the park.
One thing that really stood out to me this year was the courage from our students. Students took their stage to share about their own personal struggles with OCD, diversity, arthritis. Students shared their challenges with the school system, depression, and simply wasting their time during high school. This wasn't just a group of high school students looking to vent, this was a group that hit some very difficult subjects head-on and left their peers (and many teachers) inspired to make a change. I, personally, can't wait for the videos to be edited, posted, and shared; there's many more people who need to see there.
Of course, this isn't to say that the adults didn't hit it out of the park as well. From talks about leadership and building champions, to the value in mediation, to walking away from tragedy, these conversations gave students and co-workers alike a fresh perspective and allowed everyone to see the importance to working together to rise about difficulties. While I was expecting good things from this year's speakers, they really impressed.
I've collected some images below, though I'm still in the process of gathering the rest of the professional shots. I'll be sure to let all of you know when the final talks are online. There's plenty more people that need to see them.