Is this a post???
It is! I’ve set for myself a goal of posting once a week.
2019 was hard.
2020 was harder.
Lots of room for improvement here at the Language Makerspace Blog.
On the day that everything started to get shut down in my county in California last March 12, I was scheduled to give the keynote speech at the Inland Empire Expanded Learning Symposium. It is an annual symposium for expanded learning (after school) professionals. Many of whom are young. Many of whom are not college graduates. Many of whom have not had one education class. But all of whom are dedicated to improving the lives of students in expanded learning.
The topic of my speech was the Power of You and it was, in a nutshell, about school. About how important school is in a society. About how school transfers, creates and instills culture. About how important the institution of school is in our society and how lucky we are to get to shape and inform a generation.
In hindsight, what a silly speech. I could not even give the same speech now. To anyone who might not have believed in the important role that schools play in our society, 2020 knocked that nonsense out of their head.
We’re in this crazy eduland. Where it seems like every week we are re-inventing school. I try to remind the teachers I’m working with that there were hundreds of years before us in which our for-educators dealt with small changes over time and were able to perfect school. We, however, have been asked to re-invent school more than once in the last 9 months. It’s for sure overwhelming.
But then I think about my favorite English word. My favorite word for its meaning.
My favorite word in English is … kids. I just love how full this word is- dripping with meaning. It’s a 360 degree, nuanced word applicable to so many contexts for which the dictionary definition “a young person or child” does no justice to how we actually use it.
Take for example:
I don’t have children of my own, but I say this all the time referring to my students. I call them kids whether they are 5 or 55. For me it’s a synonym for student.
What I love most, is that when my friends who have their own actual children say my kids and I have to clarify with them, your students or your children?
I love that in everyday speech we use the same word for our family as we do for our students.
Because they are our kids.
And school is essential.