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Raising Awareness a Handful at a Time


I just checked, and I haven’t posted in over two weeks!  My apologies to all.  But, I think you’ll find that it has been for a good reason.  Please let me explain.

First of all, being a high school teacher, this is the busiest time of the year: correcting final papers, inventing and correcting exams, writing report report cards.  But today, the worst of it is done.  All that is left is one final provincial math exam to administer (written by the provincial government, which means less work for me)  and going paint-balling with the students – a great way for everyone to let out 10 months of pent up anger : )

However, the past few weeks have also been quite busy outside of the classroom.  I mentioned in a previous post that I had had the opportunity to give a presentation about climate change to a group of fellow teachers during the month of May.  (By the way, a big THANK YOU to all of you who left your comments and suggestions regarding education and creating good stewards of our planet.)  Motivated by my experience, I decided to offer my presentation to the general public.

But, before I could give my presentation to the public, I first had to translate it from French to English.  Once that was done, I made an appointment with a professor in my university to get some feedback on my PowerPoint document and the content of my presentation.  The conclusion: I had a lot of work to do!  Being the person that I am, there was a lot of technical information, examples of the impacts of climate change from around the world (but none about the impacts where I live), discussion of the ethical perspective of climate change… it was all too much, and my presentation was too long for the general public.

Screen shot of a slide that didn't make it to the "public" version of my PowerPoint document.

Screen shot of a slide that didn’t make it to the “public” version of my PowerPoint document.

And another.

And another.

So, I spent the next two weeks improving my PowerPoint document and spreading the word about my presentation.  And so, on Thursday, June 7th, I gave my first public presentation about climate change.  Number of people in attendance: 14.  Ok, that’s not much.  And, out of the 14, six were fellow teachers and three were students.  But, to be fair, I live and work in a very rural area with a small population.

Poster I created to "get the word out".

Poster I created to “get the word out”.

But, wait!  There’s more!  One of the teachers in the audience approached me after the presentation and said I should give my talk to her students.  So, I made a few more adjustments to my presentation (mostly to remove the economic aspects and add a few images).  And, today, I gave my presentation to a group of students from grades 5 to 9… which adds up to less than 30 kids!  See, I told you we had a small population : )

But WAIT!  There’s even more!  Today, another fellow teacher asked me if I’d be willing to do my presentation at her house to a group of her friends.  Of course, I said YES!

If I could do these kinds of talks for a living, I would.  But, in the mean time, I’ll take the audiences I can get!

13 Comments leave one →
  1. 2012/06/15 10:35 pm

    Great job and good luck. If you get thru to just one person you have been successful. Sounds like you may be on a roll. keep up the good work.

    • 2012/06/16 4:36 am

      Thank you! I hope the message got through… especially to the students because they are the ones who will have to deal with the mess we are leaving behind.

  2. Daniel Plourde permalink
    2012/06/15 10:52 pm

    Way to go Joce! So a little at a time gives chance to polish the presentation and present to a new group and so on. This way you are learning the process and at he same time people are getting informed. Proud of you my son!


  3. 2012/06/16 2:26 am

    Nice work JP! Glad it went so well 🙂

    • 2012/06/16 4:38 am

      Thanks! I was soooo nervous at the first (public) presentation! It was like I was back in high school for an oral presentation.

  4. 2012/06/16 7:48 am

    That’s great work! especially coming from non-environmental/sustainability background, you’ve managed to create a special niche for yourself.

  5. 2012/06/16 10:09 am

    “Every journey begins with the first step.” Who said this? I cannot remember. But anyway, you made it! Congratulations!

  6. Martin Lack permalink
    2012/06/16 12:26 pm

    I think they call this “a positive feedback loop” and, in this instance at least, a very welcome one! Well done. Keep up the good work (well actually no, have a well-earned break instead) 🙂

    Tres formidable, n’est-ce-pas? Mais oui, naturellement! etc., etc..

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