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Teacher Ryan: Wisdom and Laughter from Scott Sherman

He is a larger than life personality who exudes loads of positive energy bursting from him. He’s all smiley and friendly, and warm. He’s an excellent public speaker and funny, too. The standup comedian type where you laugh with almost everything he says. I was so happy I got to meet Scott Sherman.

One good thing about being a Teacher Fellow of Teach for the Philippines (TFP) is the opportunity to meet amazing people who are as committed to making this world a better place. And Scott truly is inspirational. He’s a social entrepreneur who, with his colleague, founded Transformative Action Institute, an organization that trains visionaries, innovators, and social entrepreneurs towards solutions to world problems.

During one “Super Saturday,” a monthly meeting and training for TFP Fellows, Scott Sherman was able to share his wisdom on transformative education, conflict resolution, and the science of luck.

As an educator, it’s always nice to be reminded of what education really means. How it should go beyond getting through a particular curriculum and taking tests. Scott talked about how he was able to get his “real” education not from the four walls of the classroom but from his journey to Kenya. The challenge then is not to travel somewhere seeking that so-called real education but to bring than into the classroom. We should strive to make learning relevant, experiential, collaborative, and fun.

“We fail at failing.” With the highs and lows of teaching, mostly lows and a lot of frustrations, plus being burnt out from fighting the system, of making sense of what we are doing, of doubting the impact of our actions, of failing again and again, Scott’s take on the science of luck is like a comforting hug. He said that luck, which could be equated to happiness, is measurable and can be taught. You change your perspective, see everything as an opportunity, and say, “Yes!”

So at the end of the day, do I press on? Yes! Do I continue working towards nation-building through quality education? Yes! Should I try my best to be the transformative teacher I can be? Why not?!

Thanks, Scott, for giving us the much needed encouragement as we run the last leg of our journey.


Teacher Ryan, Cohort of 2013, teaches Grade 3 at West Fairview ES and is in the light blue shirt in the above photo. He graduates from the Fellowship this March 2015.