First steps towards salvation

Number of fish in the virutal aquarium: O

Volume: 39.2 litres

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to join another blog as guest blogger. The readers of that blog are mainly 14-16 year old students. It's great fun. However I do find myself working in an area which is a bit more un-certain than I'm used to. When communicating in writing with adults, you just know how to. It's fairly easy. And you can be a bit harsh in your language. That's quite allright. - Unless of course you happen to have a lot of religious readers. - Which I don't have, and I wouldn't hesitate to speak my mind even if I had anyway.

Kids are so much different from adults. I need to watch my language. No ironi or sarcasms. No swearing. No negatives. The issues must be something that they can relate to. And since the blogowner is a school the topic should be informative.

I choose to mix the disciplines English, Poetry, History and Music. And keep the main focus on music in order to get some sort of connection between the students and me. However I do realize that my taste in music doesn't syncronize 100% with a 15 year old. The kids on this particular school mainly listen to pop and hip hop. So my idea is to open their ears and minds a little bit and bring a more developed style of music into their lives.

The first subject was a poem about the Battle of Galipolli written by Sabaton. - The children who attend this school all have their roots in Turkey, so Galipolli is a part of the history of the country where their parents or grandparents are born. I asked them to analyze the poem and share the reflections that came into their minds when reading the poem with me. And got lots of good response. Though I get a bit concerned because I wonder if the kids ever heard about World War 1.........

It's interesting though to experience young peoples ability to be creative in their minds. They would like to be led. They would like to have the correct answer. But in this exercise there is no correct answer. This is about reflections and inner pictures.

I think the reason for this has to do with our upbringing. It sometimes scares me how little parents reflect over their own responsibility to prepare their children for reality and to guide them. One of the most important jobs a parent has is to make sure that your child is able to take the initiative. And that it is evident that you must encourage your childs natural curiosity.

Parents focus so much on leading their children in what society calls the right direction. They bombard their children with loads of admonitions. Doing more harm than good. So the child ends up being scared of anything that doesn't fit into the frame. Or - that happens sometimes - scared of themselves. Selfdestructive thoughts are built on in-security.

It's a pitty, because there isn't anything more refreshing than open-minded, happy young people with an appetite for life.

Anyway. The result of the exercise was overall positive. And it is fun for me as well. Because I like working with young people.

The next topic for the education blog will be cabaret. - And I don't talk about the french hubble bubble thing at Moulin Rouge. I talk about real cabaret - in its original shape, and modern cabaret.

Will keep you posted!


1 comment:

Christopher Raun Leth said...

Many people who hasn't tought think that if the students just pay attention and listen then they automatically learn anything you teach them. That is far from the truth. I see my main role as a teacher as a burglar trying to open a safe; the students minds have to be pried open, sometimes with a crowbar, to be able to teach them anything. When their minds are open and they are positive in their thinking they can be tought anything. As you say they have to be able to reflect on their surroundings before they can be called young adults. Much of the time in class we just discuss whatever subject pops up and the discussion moves in the direction the students choose (with a little notching from me of course). I'd rather have students with open and happy minds who knows how to interact with others but are average in their grades, than nerds with super grades who are only interested in hearing their own voices (including the ones in their head). The open minded will nearly allways outperform the geniuses on the long run...and they are much more fun to be around :-)