Really? Does it all stop?

Screenshot 2015-01-05 10.16.46

This popped up in my twitter feed the other day. It just doesn’t sit well with me. I find it hard to accept it as truth. But maybe I am wrong and this is truth? I am not sure of the motive behind the tweet, it could well be to get one thinking.

Just the other day I had to search through a heap of photos and as I was doing this I looked at thousands of pics taken of students in my classes during the process of learning – all at various stages of engagement. And I am not exaggerating about the number. I take photos for assessment purposes and to support me with learning student names, the students understand that they are for this purpose. Not one of the photos that I looked at described the above situation for me, with regard to the older students that I teach. Maybe I am just lucky. I don’t know. Maybe, just maybe, it doesn’t all stop.

Yes, there are times that high school does not fit the portrait of the young child described above, but hey, this happens in the workplace too. My experience as a grade leader of 200 students certainly taught me that life has its ups and downs and that young people all have their own way of dealing with what life throws their way. We are complex beings and there is so much going on in the mind and body of a young person as they enter adulthood. But it is not all doom and gloom with regard to their view of school, their teachers and learning. I also believe that younger students are dealing with stuff too that at times means they don’t “smile down the halls”. I guess I am wondering if we start putting things like this out there are we creating a reality that doesn’t really exist? Why do we want to believe a false reality? Why are we prepared to give it voice? What does this do for education, learning, students and teachers in the long term and the overall concept of school?

I have started reading a book called Mindset by Carol Dwerk and I am finding it to be a really interesting read. The one thing that stands out for me is that from primary to secondary school young people face many changes and challenges. How they approach this phase of life is determined largely by mindset. Maybe we see more openly the negotiations of this older age group as they determine their place in a new environment? Maybe they challenge us differently as adults and hence we interpret it differently to that of a young child? The one thing I do know is that not every child loses their zest and love for learning within the school environment as they grow up. They may just show it in a different way to that of a younger child.

2 Comments

  1. jenglish2013 says:

    I teach in high school and would disagree with my students not expressing their love or happiness at school. It is an age appropriate expression of this love. I would worry what my Year 10s were on if they skipped down the hallway singing and smiling and I’m sure the principal would send me home if i did the same. Don’t even get me started on the hugging of teachers. That would be like your mum kissing you goodbye at the school gate eeeewww (not to mention a possible breach of the code of conduct). It is uncool for teens to express emotions or love for uncool things. They after all are too cool for anything. It doesn’t mean they don’t find joy in being at school or do not love learning, you just have to dig a little deeper to find it.

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