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How to navigate to "Straying Home," my e-book about adolescent self-discovery through global travel. Just click on a Chapter tab, 1 to 5, immediately below.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

BACK TO SCHOOL AND LABOR DAY





Imagine:

Ms. Graham, the teacher, is at her desk. Her twenty five students are at their learning centers around the classroom. It’s the first day of the school year.

The teacher says: “Why are we here today?”

Staff takes
Joyce Matthews, lead pre-kindergarten teacher at the Fort McPherson Child Development Center, demonstrates to students how to call 
911 for an emergency during the Ready Army presentation held Sept. 19. Photo Credit:
Sep 26, 2008

 A hand shoots up. Teacher and kids, Fort McPherson. In the public domain via Wikimedia

A hand shoots up and Johnny says: “Because we have to?”

Teacher says: “Any better ideas?”

Mary Lee blurts out: “Because I like see my friends!”

Teacher says: “Anyone else? Why are we here today?”

LeBrawn says: “I don’t like where my locker is. It’s too far away from my friends.”

Teacher says: “Anyone else have that problem?”

Twelve of the twenty five kids raise their hands.

Teacher says: “Well, be glad you have a locker. When I went to school, we didn’t have lockers. We kept our stuff in our desks.”

A general cry goes up: “Awwww!”

Teacher asks: “Why are we here today?”

Teena says,”We want to learn.”

Teacher smiles and says, “Alright, Teena. Did everyone get that? We’re here to learn! Actually, we’re here to learn how to learn. Get the difference?”

A kid says, “How to go online instead of to a teacher to learn how to speak Spanish?”

Teacher says: “Great, Brainwave! You’re close to it. To learn how to learn means to see a change coming in your life and how to prepare for it. Get the idea now?”

Brainwave says, “You mean we have to spend our whole year learning how to switch to a new app?”


Ms. Graham sighs and shrugs: “Okay, ya got it. Okay. Get out your phones now. Recess time.”

Philip Phibbs, when President of the University of Puget Sound, gave out one main message: "We are teaching the skill of lifetime learning." Basically, that's what Ms. Graham was communicating and the kids were picking up on.


Ready to learn; Hainan Medical College classroom. In the public domain via Wikipedia


Summing up: the world is changing. We all have got to learn how to learn to handle challenges and find opportunities as they arise--in our jobs, our society, and our world. A motto: meaningful lives, just societies, and sustainable global environment.

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