In every city where GROW takes place, we have a local team that implements the project, led by a coordinator (OCP). We are preparing a new GROW edition, so let’s meet the local coordinators! We’ve asked them about their personality, their high school years and how they would change the educational system. Today we present you Cristiana.

Cristiana - IasiNot surprisingly, one of my best high school memories is related not to what happened in class, but outside it. I was in the 9th grade, around Christmas and our class decided to go caroling. The “victims” would be our teachers. As we hastily gathered and started rehearsing, it was already getting dark and it had started snowing. None of this mattered, though, when we reached their homes and we got to see them in a totally new light: the Math teacher wasn’t busy with equations and homework anymore, but with pastry dishes and candy. This was a lovely experience, that we repeat every year even now and it taught us a lot about being a team, about how teachers are humans, too (yep, it’s a lesson we should be reminded of once in a while) and about how important are the relationships we develop in high school (since we still enjoy one other’s company).

Not many people know about me that…

  • I used to take part in school plays.
  • I’m an avid reader and I am passionate about everything related to physics, the theory of evolution and genetics.
  • One day, I would like to be a professional detective.

If I were a country, I would like to be Egypt, because I would never get bored! Plus, I could have my own pirate ships! Now, seriously, I chose this country because I would have a very long and twisted history, with an entire stream of great names and achievements on my CV, and also with a lot of work ahead. I would be the framework where one of the first and most flourishing civilizations developed and accomplished things that remain a mystery to this day, I would also see that generation collapse, I would see thousands of years of history, I would see a nation rising to take charge of its own destiny and I would see a welcoming and warm people, dealing with internal struggles and the hope of a better “tomorrow”. Sounds familiar, right?

We could think of GROW as a tumbling snowball. In the beginning it is just an idea, a light bulb switched on. In time, it gathers more and more momentum, more people get involved, it has more and more speed and the scale at which it’s done gets larger. We should see the force it gathers as the power it has to bring a true impact in the local community and as the strong voice of the young generation that wants to be heard.

If I had infinite resources change education in Romania, I would first try to change the mindset the stakeholders have on our education. By bringing the best quality in the entire system, the students would understand the “why” of school and the teachers would understand the needs of the students and act accordingly. I would build a student-oriented system, where each student could choose the subjects he is passionate about and where he will be motivated to excel. I would want to make sure that what is being taught is up-to-date with the most recent findings. I would invest generously so that the sciences are taught with the appropriate instruments and with as many practical examples as possible and so that each student follows an individual learning plan.

I think that the question we should ask is “What does the student need?”. After we identify this, we should simply take it into consideration and deliver the concrete information in a suitable and engaging way. I am confident that projects like GROW pave the way for this to happen in Romania too.