We’ve all heard the joke of the crotchety grandfather opining on his childhood: “When I was your age, I had to walk ten miles to school through the snow - and it was uphill both ways!” While the humor lies in the obvious exaggeration, this tongue-in-cheek statement also suggests its inverse: Our children generally ride to school in a climate-controlled vehicle with the windows rolled up. Indeed, much of their lives are lived indoors, or in a sanitized version of the outdoors, free of perils and bugs and other discomforts (as much as we adults can help it).
Close your eyes with me for a moment and think back to your elementary school days. Feel the bubbling excitement that welled up as you arrived at school, brown paper lunch sack in hand, school bus idling in the parking lot. Today, you are leaving your pencils in your desk. It’s field trip day.
Proudly sporting their “I am a digital citizen” stickers, Shorecrest students gathered during this Digital Citizenship week to share ways to protect themselves and demonstrate Shorecrest values online. Daily, we send our students into the virtual world to conduct research, collaborate with peers across oceans, and take action to improve their communities. Students reinforce their math skills using engaging math games online. They build online Portfolios to demonstrate their learning. They create movies, websites, and other virtual products to share their knowledge. They challenge teachers to constantly evolve their practice to reflect the changing world.
In short, technology is transformative.
The 2016 election season may be the first in which the term “mudslinging” is too gentle to describe the kinds of rhetoric and even physical violence that we have seen over the past several months. As teachers and parents, our enthusiasm about the democratic process is likely not at an all-time high. And yet, this is exactly the moment to talk with our children about the role of a citizen in our democratic republic. If we are seeing the same kinds of behaviors in the 2032 election, we will have no one but ourselves to blame.
Holden and Faylynn turn to face each other, sitting knee to knee. The rest of their classmates watch from their places in the circle. They touch their right thumbs together, wiggling their fingers like the wings of a butterfly. As they “fly” their butterfly in a circle, they greet each other. “Good morning, Holden!” “Good morning, Faylynn!”
Topics: Elementary Education