These Kids are Amazing!
Normally I like to use the terms "students" or "children", instead of "kids" because I find it rather generic in nature, however, in this case I just had to say "These kids are amazing!"
Students here at Aberdeen Hall, really are amazing. They are bright, friendly, positive, helpful and incredibly impressive in all sorts of ways.
I believe that today's students are nicer to each other than ever before in history.
I often have the privilege of observing acts of sincere generosity. The students' incredible support for one another exceeds expectations, and they have an unabashed willingness to be helpful. They hold doors for one another, say please and thank you, and are almost always smiling.
The prevalence of emotional learning is definitely having a positive impact on the relationships of our students. They are taught at an early age how to recognize the feelings of those around them. This emotional intelligence allows them to better understand bullying behaviours, insecurities and empathy. When I was a child, it was rare to have instruction and exposure to subjects such as empathy and tolerance in a school based setting. In fact, I think that today's schools go well beyond teaching tolerance; instead we teach the gift of being able to respect and embrace each others' differences.
I also find that students have incredible study skills and self control.
I am amazed how, for the most part, students get down to work. With increased levels of organization and decreased procrastination, I regularly observe the students' ability to get their work done first, before many of their personal interests.
Today's students are more sophisticated than ever.
Not only do students know plenty of stuff, they know all sorts of details about different types of stuff! Many grade four students can list off every type of dinosaur, and it is not uncommon for grade seven students to explain the complex rhythms of the REM sleep cycle, or the glycemic index of various foods. Last year I was lectured about quinoa vs brown rice vs whole wheat pasta. In my day, I think you would have had to travel to Peru or Columbia to find quinoa and I am not sure that they even made whole wheat pasta. If they did, KD certainly didn't offer it!
As is the case with the generations before and after them, today's learners will emerge with a totally unique skill set. As far as I can see, the two greatest differences affecting today's learners are the prevalence of information around them, and the incredible communication opportunities provided by the array of social media.
In my opinion, the "prevalence of information" and "social media" will present a whole new set of opportunities and challenges which will be both advantageous and detrimental to their overall development.
On the positive side, I believe that today's learners will become resilient and independent. The constant texting, tweeting and posting generates all sorts of comments and dialogue, giving children the opportunity to learn best how to deal with varying degrees of opinion and comment. On a personal note, when some of my texts or emails go unanswered, I quickly develop insecurities. I can only imagine the resilience created within these students when they are constantly managing numerous conversations.
Today's parents are even better than ever.
Yes, parents are doing a fantastic job. Not only are you more in touch with your children's generation, you are more hip than parents of generations past. Even though you are still a "little lame" in their eyes, you know more about their interests and well being than any other generation of parents. And to those grandparents out there, you are the coolest and most connected grandparents in history (by far)! In many ways, the digital age has closed the generation gap. Parents are feeding their children better than ever and they are definitely are a well hydrated lot. My fellow students and I got through 20 years of school without ever meeting a water bottle; these guys have a different coloured one for each day of the week, perhaps placing themselves as the most hydrated generation in history!
I am very optimistic about today's generation of learners and believe that society has a great deal to look forward to. They will be a confident group that will enter young adulthood as balanced and empathetic individuals. Our students are environmentally conscious, nutritionally aware, and mindful. They have good knowledge about human rights, animal rights and proper workplace culture. They are street proofed at an early age have a great understanding of the world around them.
These kids are truly amazing!