Hi, I’m Sarah and I’m new here!
First, let me start with a bit of context about why I am here.
Last week, I travelled with a group of nine people to New Orleans – all of us teachers or working in education and passionate about levelling the educational playing field for kids from low-income backgrounds. We were visiting New Orleans with two key questions on our mind:
- What has contributed to the narrowing of the educational ‘gap’ for pupils from low-income backgrounds compared to their peers in New Orleans post-hurricane Katrina, and what can educators in London learn from this?
- How are Teach for America alumni in New Orleans working together to create systemic change and transform the lives of young people in the city, and how can we create a similar legacy for our Teach First ambassadors in South London?
We return with many reflections on these questions (and more) that I couldn’t possibly do justice to in a short blog like this. However, one key learning point for me during the trip came rather unexpectedly during a session with 4.0 Schools, who offer support to social entrepreneurs in the field of education. Offering just 3 months of incubation, which means use of their office space and regular contact with consultants to move the idea on rather than the standard year-long programme of support – they work with a motto of ‘just ship it!’: if there’s a possible solution or idea that could help users, ‘ship it’ out there and test it. If it works, run with it.
I have been so inspired, challenged, and motivated by all that we’ve seen and heard in New Orleans that I’m embracing that very idea and ‘shipping’ this blog as a way of sharing what I’ve learnt, and what I hope to continue learning beyond the visit. I hope that this might inspire further conversations about the successes and challenges of educational reform, and the education sector more widely. It’s something I care about a lot, and would love to get more people talking about with a greater sense of urgency.
My colleague Charlie does a great job of explaining more about who went and why we went on this educational visit to meet schools, community leaders, entrepreneurs and communities in New Orleans if you’re interested in the background.
Thanks for stopping by!