Clare: a student blogger

Clare S, a student blogger in the TALONS program run by fellow edublogger Bryan Jackson, responded on her blog to a few of my questions about where all the student edubloggers were:

This is just my opinion, but teaching initiative is a bit of an oxymoron. I don’t think anyone can teach anyone else initiative. The way things work in schools are an example. School in the largest sense is to prepare kids for ‘the real world.’ However, most things done in school is quite frankly, a waste of time and quite unrealistic. Still, I think school represents a passage of life. Even if I’ll never use trigonometry beyond Math 12, there are still plenty of skills I’ve learned from just attending the system, like interpersonal relationships. While not entirely practical, I think schools do teach kids to grow up, albeit in a roundabout way. In the end, although schools are more effective operating in a compliant fashion, individual classes can go a lot further in trying to encourage students taking an initiative.

Her other thoughts are interesting, and I think it’s encouraging that we can get some of the students involved in thinking about what education should look like.

Perhaps most important, though, she’s definitely in line with my own students’ thinking, who believe that school’s function is primarily social.  I know that I have a tendency to think mostly about the academic side of things as a teacher, but it’s been clear to me this year that the social side is phenomenally important, and we neglect it at our peril.

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