What I Learned from The Inspire Speakers Series

After each Inspire Speakers Series lecture, a group of participants from GBA’s Green & Healthy Schools Academy attends a private workshop with that month’s national speaker.  In March, members of the Academy attended Bob Berkebile’s lecture on Thursday night and then gathered with him at the CCI Center on Friday morning.

Amber Simcic is the Community Link Coordinator at Spectrum Charter School.  In her position, she prepares students for their individual post-secondary transition goals.  Amber shares her insights from Bob Berkebile’s Inspire Speakers Series lecture and workshop here…

Amber is Community Link Coordinator at Spectrum Charter School.

Amber is Community Link Coordinator at Spectrum Charter School.

Before attending Bob Berkebile’s Inspire Speakers Series lecture, I knew it was going to focus on something called Urban Acupuncture.  But being relatively new to all that’s green and sustainable, I had little to no concept of what Urban Acupuncture might be.  In putting together what I knew of the two meanings, I figured it might have to do with cities in pain.  In hindsight, I guess I wasn’t too far off.  After hearing Bob’s talk about and demonstrate examples of this philosophy, I have become a true believer in Urban Acupuncture.  The idea of looking at the plighted or economically struggling parts of a city and what can be done to put some strategic pressure in those areas to bring them back to life is an inspiring and, so far proven, effective way to turn a stressed area into a thriving one.   The fact that creating one community center in a violent neighborhood or restructuring the flow of a city in a tornado zone can be such a vital and sustainable presence to all the residents and businesses of that area is amazing.  It is comparable to a positive infection!  Like paying it forward environmentally.  One positive influence begets another and then another and so on.

As part of the Green & Healthy Schools Academy, I obviously think a lot in terms of my students.  I feel this concept can be applied to them as well.  Mr. Berkebile, in reference to depressed urban areas, had wisely stated that “you can’t change the whole system.”  We, as educators, often feel that we are fighting a failing system.  We work hard to juggle the needs of our students, the ever increasing demands of the educational system, and the wishes of the parents.  However, with the right mind frame even a perceived “lost cause” could turn into the next best achievement.  To borrow from Bob Berkebile, we can “apply strategic pressure in the areas with the most need to create the greatest impact.”  We may not be able to do everything we want with our students in the short time that we work with them, but we can plant seeds of knowledge and make small differences.

Thanks very much to Amber for sharing her experience and reflections with us!  Do join us for the next Inspire Speakers Series in April!

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