Tuesday, October 21, 2008

An apple for the teacher

O.k well not a real apple, but it was one of those moments in the classroom that left me with a sense of hope and joy.

Now I'm about to make some sweeping generalisations here, and I do hope you'll forgive me, but it will help you understand why this was such a positive moment.

Many of the students that I teach are very insular, they have very little awareness of anything beyond their own world. The can be selfish and demanding and expect things to go their way without any effort on their own part. They take all that they have for granted and show very little consideration for the work and effort that goes into providing those things for them, whether this be by their parents or their teachers. Now some of this I know is just teenagers, but I think that culturally there has been a shift as well.

My history class have been a little different, at times anyway. They are interested in the human story and they have at times passionately argued and responded with various emotions when studying particular topics, especially stories of injustice and it has been a real thrill to watch.

This particular apple was presented to me last week when one student engaged me in a conversation about homelessness in our hometown. This student and some others had heard Craig Schepis talk about the issue of homelessness and now want to do something about it. "Miss, do you think we could organise something at school for next year to raise awareness?". This was my apple, and it wasn't because it's one of my soapbox topics. It is because these students have heard about a world beyond their own, realise that they are in a position of privilege and that they have the power to do something and they are taking action. The student since this conversation has started a research task on the issue of youth homelessness, spoken to Craig Schepis about finding more information about the issue locally and the ways in which the group might be able to help and watched The Oasis to further understand the topic.

I would love more apples like this. It gives me great hope that there may be leaders among this generation that would like to see the world changed and who take action in hope of achieving it.

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