This week, one of my most influential high school teachers, Bruce Collins, moves on to a new and exciting chapter in his career.

A screenshot of Mr Collins’ reflective Twitter thread

While I am humbled to be mentioned in his reflective Twitter thread, I feel like I need to pay tribute to this innovative teacher.

Some things Mr Collins did while I was at school:

1. As my English teacher, he introduced the concept of the collaborative classroom environment. (we only sat in groups and tackled tasks much like one would in a co-working space).

2. We did not write essays, we created our own blogs.

3. He encouraged us to engage with him in dialogue on social media (during and after class).

4. He made Shakespeare tutorials on YouTube and we could listen to sound recordings of his poetry lessons.

5. He literally found a digital alternative for any old and outdated paper system that most schools still use.

6. Lastly and most importantly, he always made sure that we were always mindful of our privilege and inherent biases.

I don’t believe being innovative is a skill you’re born with. It’s about having forward-thinking people like Bruce Collins who create an environment where thinking differently is actually encouraged and celebrated.

Thanks, Sir!

I don’t believe being innovative is a skill you’re born with. It’s about having forward-thinking people like Bruce Collins who create an environment where thinking differently is actually encouraged and celebrated.

Sashin Pillay Gonzalez

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