Six On/Six Off: Back to School
Off: Ah, the lazy days of summer! No wonder kids hate going back to school.
On: Do kids really hate going back to school? A recent informal survey I conducted with kids on my street told me they aren’t crazy about homework and boring classes, but they actually look forward to seeing their friends again after the summer, as well as some of the fun stuff they get to do; the school experience has changed and kids now don’t just “learn”, they experience in schools.
Off: But aren’t schools still about the basics, like the core subjects and getting them ready for the future?
On: The basics and the core subjects are still there, and schools continue to teach mathematics, reading and all the other skills we know are necessary for a life of success. But schools have evolved just as our kids have, and now kids have the chance to learn not only the basics but more advanced things, like robotics.
Off: The core subjects are really the only important ones, though. Why are kids spending time doing frivolous stuff in school?
On: There is no frivolity involved in the new topics schools are building into their curriculum, although there is likely plenty of fun. Whether it’s robotics or media literacy, kids are being exposed to new career options, life skills, learning opportunities and the chance to develop a well-rounded education that results in them becoming more than students; they become global citizens, too.
Off: Isn’t learning to be a citizen something kids do at home?
On: Of course! But schools are a micro-community, and in them, students have the opportunity to begin to develop the skills they will use as citizens of the world, like learning to work with others and contributing to the growth and development of a community. When you walk into a school for the first time you can sense the culture, and if the kids are enthusiastic ambassadors for their school, you know the school has been successful in building a strong community.
Off: Well, schools in larger centres are better than smaller communities like ours, because they have more resources.
On: This isn’t a hard one to disprove, as schools in the Wood Buffalo region not only perform well in terms of student academics, but also in sports, arts and culture and a variety of other activities. The students in this region benefit from the robust strength of the Fort McMurray Public School District and the Fort McMurray Catholic School District and their approach to creating not just students, but citizens.
Off: Well, school isn’t meant to be fun. And going back to school is probably something parents look forward to more than the kids do.
On: Granted that for parents there is a small sigh of relief when the kids head back to school and the summer cries of: “I’m bored” finally stop. However, while school is a kid’s job, it is the kind of job where they can find challenges, opportunities, and fun! Thanks to the amazing administration, educators, and schools in Fort McMurray, the kids in our region can go back to “work” when the summer is done and learn that even jobs can be enjoyable, rewarding, and, yes, fun!