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Thursday, 16 February 2017 06:40

We’ve All Got a Spark. Let’s Light a Fire!

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We have the power to light a fire in every child with whom we work. It only takes one person to change a child's life. Think back on your educational influences and you will likely find someone who lit a fire in you that still burns today. Across the country I've asked leaders, "What childhood science experiences do you remember?" People share about baking soda volcanoes, science fairs, field trips, and dissections that lit a spark in them. I never hear about textbooks.


camon baby  light my fire by megan green photo


During a recent out-of-school time staff training in Richmond, California, I asked, "What are the important characteristics of science during out-of-school time?" The usual responses—hands-on, engaging, and fun—were offered up. There was an uncomfortable wait time until a young man raised his hand and said, "Enthusiasm. It is important that the leader is excited when sharing the lesson." This sparked an important conversation about the power we have to influence children—either positively and negatively—and their attitudes towards learning. I recall my sixth-grade teacher starting the year by saying, "I spent my whole summer learning about new math," in the most negative and exhausted voice. It wasn't until the teaching credential program that I discovered a love for and success with math. There were many factors besides that teacher, but I remember her remarks like it was yesterday.

When you hear people talk about creating a brighter future, think of the spark that started your career. Think about the contribution you can make by sharing that spark with every child you meet. Enthusiasm is contagious. If you are genuinely excited about the work you are doing and the activities you are leading, your students will want to be a part of it. We all have an enormous role to play in the future of the world. Lend your voice, your passion, your time. 25 years from now, in a gathering of passionate educational leaders, someone will share a story of a person who inspired them and sparked a fire that continues to burn brightly. Be that spark of inspiration. Choose to contribute.


megan green  make a difference


For breakfast this morning, I had Malto Meal for breakfast with brown sugar and milk. Yummy!

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Megan Green

Director of After-school Programs
Center for the Collaborative Classroom 
Emeryville, CA

Megan Green, Director of After-school Programs at the Center for the Collaborative Classroom, played a lead role in the development of the AfterSchool KidzMath™ program. In addition to developing materials, she has created and delivered professional development for after-school staff on math, literacy, and science. Megan also played a key role in the development of the AfterSchool KidzScience™ program, a partnership with the Lawrence Hall of Science. Currently, Megan manages all marketing and professional development for the Center for the Collaborative Classroom's 7 out-of-school time academic enrichment programs. Before joining the Center for the Collaborative Classroom, Megan taught elementary school. During her teaching career, Megan was a mentor teacher in mathematics and served on the district's mathematics committee.



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