Friday, 18 November 2011

For our youth

As a school teacher, I often mark the passage of time with events to do with the school calender such as holiday times (*cheeky smile*), major events and the like. Today marks one of the most important times in the lives of our youth (well here in Australia anyway) and it is the day our year 12's complete the final day of their studies in the school system. Some of them will no doubt, head on to other institutions of learning, while others will enter the work force, become apprentices and other pathways. Their learning is by no means complete, after all, we are constantly learning, however, this marks a major change in their lives, and in their learning experiences.

This day, of all days, brings to mind the amazing hope I hold for our future. For 11 years I have watched this day come and go, watched students drift into the world as life long learners, some of them well prepared, others who will undoubtedly have some hard lessons coming for them, but all leaving none-the-less, regardless of their level of preparedness, and I have hope!

If you believe the popular culture and media sources of information, you could be forgiven for thinking that our society is in decline, that our youth are without hope and have no sense of responsibility or work ethic. You would perhaps be thinking that as a global community, we are in trouble as we begin to hand over the reins to our young adults. You would of course be forgiven for thinking this is the state of affairs, you would also be wrong.

For those of you who feel ALL of our teenagers are without hope, irresponsible, troubled, rebellious and not able to take up the mantle, I say, take the time to know them, take a while to have conversations with them, to work alongside them, to help them learn and grow and watch the enthusiasm with which they take the information given to them and process it to come up with unique and individual understandings. Watch, have patience, love them unconditionally and you will soon come to realise that they have incredible hopes, amazing aspirations, wonderful ideas, enthusiasm and work ethic. Yes, their 'real' learning is just beginning, and yes, there is still a lot more for them to learn; yet the same could be said of a lot of adults I know too *smile*

This day brings great hope to me for our future, because our youth are amazing individuals, they make me proud and extremely safe with placing the world in their hands in the future. Don't underestimate them, have patience with them and watch in wonder as they take the reins.

With love and light

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