As a teacher librarian, I get to see students in a variety of different settings: academic classes, elective classes, hanging out in the library, book club... Over the last few weeks I have had the pleasure of being involved in some different but interesting endeavors: the Mayor's Youth Forum, Human Library and the SoMe Summit.
During the Mayor's Youth Forum, students talked about the need for more busses and better placement of stops. They talked about mental health and the need for more support in the schools. During the Human Library, students actively listened to adults talk about how they turned their passion into their careers and after class was over, students hung around to talk one on one to the adults. And then there was the SoMe Summit, where students spoke about how everyone of us can make a difference and how social media can be the tool that we use to make that difference.
After each event, I've left filled with wonder and hope having heard our students speak. Often we get wrapped up in the administrivia, the curriculum, the report cards, the data, and the latest initiative. We talk about pendulum swings and lowering the bar. We commiserate over the decline in education and wonder where the rigor has gone. And yet, day after day, I see students in class and outside of class who are thinking, inferring, reflecting and internalizing. I hear students speak so eloquently about their learning, their world and the world around them.
I think perhaps as educators we are too hard on the system, ourselves and our students. It is too easy to focus on the negative and lose sight of the awesomeness that it is happening around us on a daily basis. Because in the end, we have students who are articulating their hopes and dreams and are passionate about making a positive change in the world. And really, what more could we possibly want from our students?
To learn more about SoMe, visit their website SoMe4Change