Look at the desks in this photo. (This was taken in Illinois at a park we visited often. I was peaking through the window from outside.) I used to sit at desks like these, even in high school study hall. The desks always stayed in regimented rows, long rows, one desk connected to the one in front. Though these desks look pretty clean and smooth, it is very likely that I left some carving in the wood of a few of these. Amazing what a student can do when bored….
Thank goodness these desks are now a thing of the past, that today students have better tables, desks, chairs, books, new buildings, and so many different opportunities to enhance their learning experience. We felt lucky to have TV sets in each classroom back in my day…now the classroom comes to us on our computer screens in the privacy of our own home, not to mention the technological advances in our classrooms.
As I have been going on about my morning routine I’ve been thinking about the kids returning to school in our community today. And about the teachers who have been preparing for this time…working for days, weeks, maybe even months in advance. Planning lessons, creating beautiful learning spaces in their classrooms, meeting the students, using all their knowledge and skills to help those students learn.
When late August rolls around I am filled with memories of the sights and sounds of school, of teachers I had – favorite and not-so-favorite, and of all the interactions between classmates and friends. Then I pause and consider all the online classes I have taken, how education has evolved in so many ways.
But at the heart of all learning is a teacher who guides.