Regardless of where learning takes place, NIS teachers have always, if possible, tapped into the experience of experts to facilitate discussions and support issues being discussed in class. Since people around the globe have been working mostly online, this became much easier to invite someone in to join our virtual classroom. From a Q&A session about COVID-19 with a doctor in Miami for Biology students to talking with someone who grew up in Cold War Russia for a discussion in Individuals and Society, learning literally comes to life when guests like this can be with students online in this way.
But on the UN-designated “Day of the Worker,” NIS teachers went a step further and created a full day of inquiry and inspiration with an event called “Meet the Workers Day.” This event was a full day of interactive learning that brought 36 professionals to NIS (online!) for the day to talk about their work.
Inspired by MYP teacher Gary P. (Individuals and Societies), and assisted by other teachers and staff, NIS was able to reach out and bring in professionals from around the globe to ‘meet’ the secondary students. They came from an array of different fields - business, politics, science, the arts, and much more. The school even welcomed a Broadway actress and a pilot for British Airways!
The idea behind the event was to provoke thinking around work and what it means now, as well as into the future. Another objective was to bring the students some “outside of the box” learning before the Golden Week holiday, after studying from home for nearly two months! The secondary students flooded the one-hour sessions with various thoughtful questions. The presenters enjoyed their interactions with the students as well, and asked some of their own questions! It was demonstrative of one of the benefits of online learning: without the world on a temporary slow-down, it would have been more challenging to pull in the breadth of professionals we were honored to invite.
We are grateful for all of the workers who participated and hope that we can do this again next year, even if we are no longer only working online!