As I have been preparing myself mentally and physically for the start of my full-time class in September (which seems to be coming a lot quicker than I expected!) I’ve been considering the very first week I’ll be in front of this class of 10-11 year olds who will be embarking on what will probably have been made clear to them (rightly or wrongly) that this will be the most important school year of their young lives. Talk about pressure on both sides!
I was watching this TED talk given by Colin Powell, the American statesman and retired four star general in the United States Army.
Ironically, as I was listening to this talk my thoughts were not centred on giving children structure, although that is something that is very important and may be the focus of a future blog post. Instead, I started to think about the children that will be in my class, and the implication my teaching will have on their future and their future impact on society. The future of our nation will be driven by the children sat i today’s classrooms. The children in education right now globally are the future enforcers of change in humanity. Pretty heavy stuff when you think of the 30 or so children you see every weekday, trying to progress their understanding of fractions!
Of course, as today’s adults we are well aware of the fact that the rising generation in today’s classrooms are key to the future. We have been in their position and are now trying to make changes in the world around us the best we can. However, do today’s children recognise this? Whilst they are sat in the classroom, are they aware that they are there in preparation (hopefully) for a life where they can give something back in some way to the world around them? I’m certain that I didn’t, especially in the primary classroom.
There could be an argument here to suggest that children should not be made aware of this, to give them time to be just that, children. To a point I agree. At an early age children may not be able to comprehend the fact they will be the future, quite literally. I’m not going to suggest an age that a child may be able to understand that they can have a future role in society, mainly because development naturally occurs at different stages for children.
However, whether children are aware of it or not, at school they are learning for the future of mankind. The latest technological advancements, sporting improvements and scientific discoveries will not mean anything if the receivers of these steps forward are not prepared to make use of them. As I will be teaching a Year 6 class, I feel they will certainly be prepared for this discussion. If a teacher can convey to their class just how much value the knowledge and skills they are developing will have for the future of their lives and humanity around them, as the rising generation, what effect would this have on their view to education?
To round my thoughts up there is this great quote by Carol Bellamy – “…in serving the best interests of children, we serve the best interests of all humanity.”