Monday, May 11, 2009

Kids, the Internet, and the Recession

There are now only three abandoned houses on my street.

This is going to be a rambling post, but I've been thinking about the Recession. Thinking about how it is having an effect on our students. Just Google 'recession children' and you'll find tons of discussion on the matter.

Here's one of the more interesting things I found: and article published by the NY Times almost exactly twenty-five years ago today [Ed. -- first draft in RSS read 'twenty'... my bad]. It's titled 'Unicef Cites Impact of Recession on Children'.
...the world recession has had its most severe impact on the children of the poorest people...

It's always the kids who feel the brunt of it. Something to keep in mind before we get mad that Lucy didn't do her homework last night.

Particularly in times like these, we should be thankful for the Internet. Because the Net refuses to allow us to claim ignorance. And it offers a space to share stories with and from communities around the world. Communities that on the surface may seem so different from your own and yet, at the heart of it all, communities comprised of folks going through the same problems and suffering the same heartaches that people have suffered since the beginning of time. Communities that demonstrably lay manifest the reality that one action leads to another and that we are all connected.

And all that cliche stuff.

All that true stuff.

You can't claim ignorance. And neither can your students. The connection is a click away. Use the Internet to connect your students to the world. Don't be afraid of it. Because every class you spend lecturing and handing out worksheets and passing on the opportunity to connect your kids to the world beyond your classroom walls is a class where you have stressed only one lesson: the 'real world' is something that can wait.

It can't wait. And it's not going to wait for your kids. Your students are standing in the middle of the street and the real world would just as quickly run them over.

Like the Recession is running over kids on a daily basis.

So teach the past, teach the present, imagine the future. Be a part of the real world. But don't fear.

We're teachers. We don't have time for fear. We ain't afraid of anything.

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