Headteacher Rae Snape tells us about the Cambridgeshire Festival of Education taking place on 15 June and why a group of ‘founding flamingos’ decided to set up such a positive event.
This will be the third year that we’ve held the Cambridgeshire Festival of Education, which we think is (probably!) the most optimistic event in education! It has the look and feel of a real festival – live music, bunting, a festival village and games.
When we launched the first festival in 2017, we wanted teachers to feel valued, inspired and appreciated, and so we designed #CambsEdFest to be a joyful celebration of teachers and teaching. We wanted to make sure that anyone leaving the Festival at the end of the day was ready and excited to continue their journey in our noble and brilliant profession.
It’s easy to get caught up in the challenges that we teachers face: funding, workload, increased expectations and changes to the curriculum and frameworks. But we describe ourselves as radical optimists - we look at all the positive things that teachers bring to society and what we can do ourselves. A great example of this is our choice of the flamingo motif as our optimistic emblem - the elegance and exuberance of these fabulous creatures seemed fitting!
Teachers are not powerless. We are the change we want to see in our schools and in our world and I want to empower teachers as positive agents of this. Teacher agency is important, and so are the stories we tell ourselves and others about the importance of the work that we do and the difference that we make in young people’s lives. Teachers are the system, and we need to reclaim the narrative. So, for the sake of our children, communities and colleagues, we should all be flamingos of hope – free your inner flamingo!
We’ve teamed up with the Festival to provide a live stream of all of the keynote speakers - you’ll be able to watch speakers throughout the day, including Paralympian Elizabeth Wright, Stephen Munday from the Chartered College of Teaching and Jaz Ampaw-Farr. Visit the YouTube channel to subscribe and set a reminder.