Back in November a super-inspiring colleague at Oak Bay hatched an improbable plan: purchase the viewing rights to the award winning educational documentary Most Likely to Succeed, invite everyone we know, and create a revolution now. Here’s how it turned out…
Most Likely to Succeed had been on my radar for a while. I caught wind of the film after it had been released at the Sundance Film Fest in 2015. It made quite a bit of noise on the educational landscape as not just being a thought-provoking film, but one that could very well inspire some change in the often untouched corners of our practice.
When I joined Oak Bay this year I began planning a Science Fair with two of our amazing Science teachers, Eric Simonson and Derek Shrubsole. Their plan was to support their two junior level Science classes in organizing and executing a Science Fair at our school in the Spring. The twist was that Eric and Derek (yes, they are awesome and their names rhyme) wanted the learning and understanding to occur in an inquiry model that would connect with an authentic audience and produce original work. Therefore my task was to support them on this end by helping the teachers and learners adopt an inquiry model and ensure success at the Science Fair. To get the ball rolling I flicked Eric the trailer from the film to inspire what the end product could look like.
Little did I know what was to come next.
Within a few weeks Eric had emailed the distributors and purchased the licensing rights to host the film at our school, the first showing east of Toronto of the film to date. Eric was going big and we were excited to be a part of the ride! Once the date was set we began promoting the event, hoping to fill our 450 seat theatre and inspire some dialogue about inquiry-based learning, the new curriculum in British Columbia, and having a good, hard look at what we do as educators in our classrooms.
Premier night saw a great crowd attend, almost filling the Dave Dunnet Theatre at Oak Bay. A mix of teachers (elementary to university), parents, students, administrators, school district trustees, and other district big wigs all spilled in to the auditorium eagerly anticipating the event. And the film lived up to its reputation of challenging what we as educators think our role in the classroom is, could be, and may someday be. At parts humorous, gut wrenchingly saddening, challenging to my core, and tremendously promising and inspiring, I was taken with the film. It left me feeling hopeful for change and keen to continue to network and meet colleagues who are equally as passionate about change as I am.
I mindfully seek out these times of inspiration, the moments in my career where I am feel empowered to change and look at my role as educator in a different light. I am left knowing that I am not alone in this quest and more often than not I connect with a likeminded teacher who becomes a valuable contact, someone I can connect with and rely on to get the revolutionary ball rolling.
And with that being said some pretty awesome people at UVic are nurturing this ember. 8 student teachers are planning a similar showing of the film on campus coming up on Wednesday, March 30 with the hope of starting some meaningful conversations and created change. Details can be found here. Please consider joining in on the fun. I know I will!