It’s official. School’s in session this week (at least in our Florida county), and children are dragging their sleepy bodies out of bed to head off to “learning” outlets. On my morning walk two days ago, I passed by one such young man, maybe around ten or eleven years of age, with tired eyes and a wide yawn as he straddled his bike waiting for his mom and older brother. I smiled and wished him a great first day back.
But what I do know, from decades of teaching in various settings, and from friends who are teachers, is that this year is not in any way like previous years. Not only that, but very few students are looking forward to sitting long hours doing schoolwork when much of what is thrown at them, they will not remember nor ever use. One of my brilliant and creative grandsons just let it be known that he is in no way wanting to go to school. He wants to be doing, not sitting. His new hybrid school situation does sound like it will be different and more interactive. We all pray, for his sake, it is.
How sad for kids who if given the right environment love to learn.
Also tragic is that students have to be locked down in their schools with drills because of the very real, and more often occurrence of unexpected violence. School and mall shootings are becoming too common. While I was teaching a class last year at a local high school, we experienced one such drill. Of course we were relieved it wasn’t real, but still unnerving enough.
How do kids study in that kind of environment?
And don’t even get me started about the sudden shift in content this year. I’m pretty sure that no matter what people believe politically, they don’t want some stranger teaching their kindergartner about sex and its varieties.
But on the positive side, recently I watched an incredible video from Mark Roper, the science guy. The way he thinks, experiments, and instructs with his fun and easy explanations creates the best environment for learning. I discover so much from simply enjoying his videos on YouTube, and the entertainment factor doesn’t disappoint. Mind-blowing from every side. He even has new classes. Always hands-on because doing is learning.
So if you’ve never checked him out, this is a good place to start, but I’ll bet you get hooked by his elephant toothpaste and squirrel obstacle courses too just like I did.