“The biggest challenge is to transform the way we teach – and what we teach – to ensure students survive in the era of machines and AI.” – Oktawia Gorzeńska, Poland

Oktawia Gorzeńska
Principal, blogger, trainer
High School 17 in Gdynia and trainings4u.eu Gdynia, Poland

For most educators, wearing multiple hats each day is par for the course. For Oktawia Gorzeńska, the roles of principal, blogger and teacher trainer are all distinct, yet equally fulfilling.

“As a principal, I am compelled to change the work culture of my school,” says Gorzeńska. “We create a learning organization by combining academic knowledge with new methods, as well as social and 21st century skills development. As a blogger and speaker, I talk about the need for transforming education. Finally, as a trainer, I teach others how to do it.”

Gorzeńska’s favorite activity is using Skype to promote curiosity, collaboration, problem-solving and multicultural learning. Through Mystery Skype, her classroom connects with other Polish, Latvian and Georgian students as they work on Let me look through your window, a joint eTwinning project.

Cooperation is second nature to Gorzeńska, and she is involved in many teaching communities, including The Global Change Leaders (Ashoka Foundation) and as a Microsoft Innovator Educator Expert (MIEE). She also coordinates the all-Poland conference Power School, powered by Microsoft.

“My career was defined when I was coordinating youth exchanges for the EU Youth in Action program,” says Gorzeńska. “It influenced my work as a teacher and a principal, because participation, giving space for taking initiative, collaboration, and being open to new challenges were elements I implemented in the classroom and school. The greatest lesson was about the value of cooperation and being open to change.

You can connect with Oktawia Gorzeńska on her Microsoft Educator Community profile, or her blog

About Oktawia Gorzeńska

  • Educational background: Leadership Academy for Poland; High School of Management in Gdańsk – Education Management; University of Gdańsk – Culture & Art, Pedagogical Drama; Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań – Polish Philology
  • Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology:  Office 365 (e.g. Forms, Sway, OneNote), Skype
  • What is the best advice you have ever received?  People are responsible only for what they create.
  • Website I check every day:www.gazeta.pl and www.weforum.org
  • Favorite childhood memory:  A summer at my grandparents’ small town where I spent wonderful times with other teenagers while talking, playing, and going to the lake.
  • Favorite book:One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
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