You know those moments when you see something, do a double take, and then have an immediate thought of “I wish I had my camera” because you are not sure if what you saw will occur again? Well I had one of those moments the other day while eating breakfast at a local restaurant and felt compelled to write about it in hope that those with influential positions will ensure rare sightings become common experiences….not only did I witness a middle-school aged youth with a newspaper in his hands, but I also saw engaging discussion with the adult sitting across the table about something from within the paper
This moment triggered a few memories from my elementary school years….a time when it was the culture of my school that every student spend time with the librarian….much of this with working with newspapers from around the world and prepping them for the hanging rods by the stacks. Just the social aspect alone of picking up the newspapers from the school office, bringing them back to the librarian who would have something to say about the front page of each paper that the school subscribed to, and then bringing news back to the teacher/class that would stir discussions kept our little classroom family up to date with local, provincial, national, and international events. Technology has taken away much of these personal connections we have from society norms and in my opinion it has left a substantial hole in the way youth relate to their physical, emotional, and cultural environments.
It was nice to experience a triggered emotion/memory from my past as a result of seeing this interaction; however, as an educator it reminds me of how much we need to find ways to ensure we engage in dialogue with our youth often on events that happen in our world. We might not have students coming to class with black ink on their fingers anymore, but if we want to ensure society is sensitized to human happenings and how we are interconnected with each other, we need to create opportunities to make it happen.
Newspapers may soon be a thing of the past, but in the meantime we have the influential capacity to keep the social interaction of informed happenings within our learning outcomes through newspapers/magazines, and I both encourage and challenge everyone to play a role in making it happen.
Keep It Real Folks!