Thankful and inspired: schools and education

In recent posts there was some discussion about the importance of education, the value of schools and the role of teachers. I thought it timely to re-share this post, first published in July 2015.

Earlier this week I read a post by Kimmie of Stuck In Scared about Ten Things of Thankful. I have also read many other posts about things to be thankful for. These posts prompted me to share something for which I am thankful: schools and education.

I know that I often write about what I consider the shortcomings of traditional schooling and make suggestions of how schools could be improved. However I live in a country that values education and in which every child has a right to a free education. For that I am thankful. Those of us who have access to schools and education are the lucky ones.

This week I have been listening to Malala The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Changed the World by Malala Yousafzia with Patricia McCormick (Indigo).

Malala-The-Girl-Who-Stood-Up

Malala’s is an inspirational story of courage, and how one person can change the world. In this trailer for the movie of her story to be released later this year, she says,

“One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”

(Note: I haven’t seen the movie yet. I’d love to know if any readers have.)

In her speech accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, Malala says,

“I am just a committed and even stubborn person who wants to see every child getting quality education, who wants to see women having equal rights and who wants peace in every corner of the world.”

The Malala Fund, of which she and her father are co-founders and to which she donated her prize, “empowers girls through quality secondary education to achieve their potential and inspire positive change in their communities.”

She calls world leaders and people everywhere to take action and make education their top priority, for all the children of the world, not just their own children.

This is one of my favourite quotes from the book:

Malala - teachers

I think one of her most influential teachers must be her father.

Thank you

Thank you for reading. I’m sure you have found Malala’s story just as inspirational as I have.

I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

37 thoughts on “Thankful and inspired: schools and education

  1. irenevlgr8

    This is so true. Many students that have free and accessible education take it for granted. Moving to the United States as a little girl from Mexico I realized that many American children in Middle school and High school didnt take school seriously. However, many immigrants appreciated the classes and textbooks more because they were free. Most schools in Mexico are not free and school can cost a fortune and I am not talking about higher education here.

    Best,
    The Road To College
    Irene

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Norah Post author

      It’s so true what you say. We take what comes easily for granted, and appreciate what we have to strive for. The difference in attitudes and their effects can be quite striking. Thanks for joining in the conversation.

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  2. roughwighting

    This young woman is beyond inspirational. She’s a master teacher, a yogi, so to speak, a type of Gandhi, in my mind. But reading your post and her words brought me back to the prejudice I’ve dealt with regarding education and SPECIAL ED students. I’ve tutored students who are disabled in some way: some with disabilities caused by cerebral palsy, some with Down’s Syndrome, some autistic, and other disabilities I hadn’t even heard of before I began working in this high school. I was so surprised when I realized many of my friends kind of disapproved my work, feeling that the money that went toward educating these ‘special’ students would be better spent on those not disabled. Seriously! One boy I worked with for 3 years couldn’t speak well, or read (because of roving eyes from his cerebral palsy) or walk or stand, but he was more intelligent than most of the students in that school!! I hope someone like him once stands up (figuratively) like a Malala.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks for adding your voice for the disabled to Malala’s. Education for all whether having a disability or not! I can’t believe your friends thought the money should not be put into their education. Good on you for standing up for them. They need a spokesperson.

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  3. annadelconte

    Thank you for sharing Norah. The TED talk by Malala’s father was a great insight to the culture and philosophy of the Taliban. His own campaign to emancipate his students from their cultural shackles was also inspiring

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  4. Norah Post author

    Reblogged this on Norah Colvin and commented:

    I have just watched the movie “He named me Malala”. The message has not lost its importance or impact. Sadly the need for her message to be heard and responded to has only grown over time. I share this post again as a reminder of Malala’s courage, strength, and determination. She says, “The terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage were born.”

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  5. Lisa Reiter

    She is an amazing young woman and her father is also clearly an amazing man to step aside from convention and facilitate his daughter’s message. An inspiration this morning to focus on being grateful for what some of us already take for granted. Thank you Norah ❤️

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  6. prior2001

    Wonderful! And I heard about Malala last fall – inspired – and it looks like you were on top of her story of this was from July! Wow! Anyhow – great post and I also agree that those with access to education have much to be grateful for – and Malala is soooooo humble and cool!

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      1. prior2001

        Yes – and when she was on the Colbert report you could feel her genuine cool side – and quite an overcomer already – have a great day Norah! Oh and did you know that the artist hopper and his wife had a painting with a lady they referred to as Norah!

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                  1. prior2001

                    Now that I know nothing about – 😊- but their stories are cool – not as cool as Malala’s – ha! But different – and my take on Mr and Mrs Hopper is they endured very much to remain true to the craft and profession of artist – Mrs Hopper also watched as her husband’s career had more acclaim then hers – but they remained united and one – and enjoyed life and told stories about their art – like Intermission with Ms Norah! 💕

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  7. Rose Tinted Ramblings

    Reblogged this on Rose Tinted Ramblings and commented:
    the story of Malaa is inspirational. and whilst our education system in the UK is far from perfect it is available to all children and it is free. For that we are extremely lucky. It also seems to be biased to working better for girls but that is another blog. One of my many reasons for reblogging this is because I am absolutely in awe of her father and the talk he gave at TEDS. What a great man Ziauddin Yousafzai is, not in the least for raising such an amazing young woman

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  8. MENTALLY ME (@stuckinscared)

    Norah, I’ll keep this short for now, as you know I’m not at my best ATM, but Thank you, for the mention, I had no idea until i clicked onto your post to read, and (as you’v been so generous with your sharing this week) to return the favour, and it was a lovely surprise.

    Thank you also for this beautiful, inspirational piece, I’m familiar with Malala’s story, and will look forward to the film myself (now that I know it’s coming).

    Lastly, thank you for reminding me, in a round about way…about all (and my goodness what an all) I have to be thankful for.

    Yours is the only blog post Iv’e managed to read this week, and I’m so glad I did.

    Thinking of you, hoping all is well with you… all the best, Kimmie x

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. Norah Post author

      Kimmie, Thank you so much for stopping by, reading and commenting, when you are not feeling so good yourself. I am honoured and very much appreciate your kind words and thoughts.
      I’m disappointed WP didn’t give you a pingback. I thought they would. Maybe I should have. But at least your found it.
      Look after yourself. Never feel compelled to return a favour. Expecting something in return is never my way. I share what I like and when I can; paying it forward; never expecting in return.
      Look after yourself. xo

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  9. Bec

    Thanks for writing about Malala Yousef, she is so inspiring. I look forward to learning about her through your thoughts on the book! I guess, perhaps when “we” in safe societies have the opportunity to have the best education systems, then we should make sure we do focus on living up to the privileges we are afforded – and too do what we can to help people like Malala in other countries where those same privileges aren’t shared.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Malala is an amazing young woman. I am very much enjoying listening to her story and am looking forward to the release of her movie later in the year.
      We are very fortunate with many privileges in our society. Sadly those privileges can be very easily taken for granted. It is sometimes good to stop and appreciate what we have. That doesn’t mean we stop working to improve them – just appreciate them and, as you say, do what we can to help people like Malala in other countries. I guess that is the purpose of the Malala Foundation which she began with money earned from awards for speaking out for others.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  10. Sherri

    What a great quote and what an incredibly inspirational woman is Malala. We do have so much to be thankful for, not least of all a free education for all in our western society. Something definitely not to be taken for granted. Thank you Norah for reminding us of this in your, as Anne says, wonderfully celebratory post 🙂

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  11. Annecdotist

    Despite the limitations of the education systems in the West, we have a lot to be thankful for to go up in a culture that takes this for granted. I was often humbled in my travels visiting schools in rural parts of Africa and the Indian subcontinent to see how much the kids there valued their education, knowing how fragile it was. A great celebratory post.

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