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“Under Four Trees:” A passionate principal and an engaged community are enough

October 13, 2014

Under Four Trees is a documentary film about Nkomo Primary School which was started under four trees in a small community in South Africa.  The Principal, Mrs. “Mama” Zikhali, is the inspiration behind the school.  She tells a story in this 3 minutes video that illustrates how learning happens with there is inspired leadership, caring teachers, and eager students.  All the other bells and whistles are nice but not necessary.  I saw the power of her vision and words when she described how under one of the trees is where her administration met and where they stored all their belongings. They clearly didn’t have much to store, but even so they have built a school that has life, energy, and commitment from parents.

For me this piece calls out the need to focus on what really matters in learning–a good, caring teacher and inspired, supportive leaders.  The rest is just icing on the cake.

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