AISL Grade 9 students had an absolutely captivating Skype session in our beautiful new Palm Pavillion with award-winning UK poet Karl Nova this past Wednesday. Karl Nova, a spoken word artist and poet, won the UK Clippa Award for Best Poetry in 2017. This prestigious award is granted annually to top poetry written for children or young adults in the UK.
Our Grade 9 students are exploring the role of the arts in helping people to explore their personal and cultural values, and the content of Karl Nova's work was perfectly suited to this. Karl left the UK at age 7 to live in Lagos, Nigeria for the better part of 15 years before returning to the UK. His message to students was about the importance of authenticity, inner strength, and the beauty of internationalism- all themes our students relate to on many levels! He told students, "the aim is not popularity- the aim is authenticity."
As a teacher, I was deeply proud of all our Grade 9 students. They held themselves to the highest standards and posed such thought-provoking questions that Karl joked they were going to all become TED talkers! Several of our students even shared their own poetry with Karl.
One of our Grade 9 students, said this of the event: "Skyping with Karl Nova was a very unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Meeting, chatting, and listening to someone with a different perspective is very inspirational. He’s multicultural, passionate, and willing to listen to students. I love how he really tried to include everyone into his conversations, and he joked and laughed. It felt like we were having a normal conversation with someone that we knew well. He was open to our questions and was eager to get to know us." These sentiments were echoed by many of the Gr9 students.
I am grateful to Grade 9 teachers Mr. Michael Ryan, Mr. Edward Chow Worn, and Ms. Clare Cullen for the collaboration that allowed us to realize this wonderful learning experience- and to our always amazing IT Department for providing additional band width and tech support to keep the Skype connection running optimally. - Terry Maguire, Secondary Teacher-Librarian
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