Senior Associate Harry Deelman and his wife and Search partner Margaret Deelman attended the International Baccalaureate (IB) Global Conference in Singapore, March 25-27th. The enormous event, which included many pre-conference workshops on March 24th, combined two major groups: the annual regional gathering of teachers, IB coordinators, administrators, and board members from every IB school in the Asia-Pacific region; and worldwide heads of IB Schools, who usually gather every several years. IB Global was held at Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre, one of Singapore's amazing collection of new buildings, many of them architecturally stunning, in downtown Singapore near Marina Bay.
Daily plenary sessions were held in the 2,000-seat auditorium, with almost every seat occupied and late-comers often standing at the back and sides. Half a dozen huge screens were used to enable everyone in the audience to get a very good view of the lively and dramatic talks by educational experts and the various performances by school groups that punctuated them. Students from Singapore-located IB schools performed attractive song and dance routines, and a student from each school introduced each keynote speaker. Harry exclaimed,
"What a public-speaking test for those students! In front of nearly 2000 eminent educators, they have each spoken eloquently and fluently."
Playing a substantial part in the plenary sessions were four teachers selected from various worldwide schools. Each had something persuasive and unique to say about teaching. Harry said,
"Wow! If every international teacher is as philosophically brilliant and as entertaining with serious themes as these four, then international students are in very good hands. The 500 worldwide heads of IB schools present must have been noting down names in the hope of recruiting one or more of these star teachers in the future."
The keynote speeches started with a summary of why positive changes from a position of strength are so powerful, by Dr. Pak Tee Ng, who for many years has been in charge of educating the great majority of Singapore's 350-400 heads of schools, both government and private. Harry considered heads of schools–and Singapore itself–extremely lucky to have such an articulate, humorous, and dynamic chief trainer. Rose Luckin, Professor at UCL in London, gave an equally thought-provoking talk on Artificial Intelligence and its role in future education. Meagan Fallone, CEO of Barefoot College International, inspired the audience to aim at greater social leadership and the integration of design and conservation with entrepreneurial skills.
At the Search Associates table, Harry and Margaret enjoyed conversing with hundreds of participants, in particular many heads of schools and human resource managers about the great advantages to a school that Search Associates' recently-launched APLï system for recruitment management provides.
IB Global Conference 2018 certainly delighted and inspired all participants. What an honor it has been for Search Associates to be a part of such an exciting community.