Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Watching Zolli and reading about Death

Since I had seen Zolli first hand, I don't have much to say other than I remember walking away from the presentation thinking one, does this mean I am going to have to take care of my parents when they are older? and two, what does this mean for education. The fact of the matter is that if we are living longer, are we really preparing kids to be life long learners? I mean if they are living longer that means they are spending a greater portion of their lives outside the education setting, outside of being influenced by hopefully positive individuals. Are we giving kids in our classrooms today the skills they need to live a long and happy life? I feel like these are the changes we are trying to make at AHS. We are trying to show the kids how to be critical thinkers, how to collaborate, and how to be an effective communicator. This skills will help them no matter what the text they are studying or in what the job they are employed. As far as taking care of my parents (because as Zolli quotes this task usually lands on the female), it worries me. I know the cost of adult care facilities is increasing as much as college tuition. Will I be able to handle that responsibility? I know in my heart I would want to be there for them as they had taken care of me, but I wonder if I could really do it and survive. Stuff to think about for another time.

As for the article on death, it reminds me so much of Brave New World and 1984 two novels I teach. I think I will have to keep this article and have my seniors or 9th graders read it to get their reaction. I think about most teachers retiring around 60 years of age if not earlier. What are they going to do to survive financially until death rates of 80+? What is that going to do to the education profession if teachers are staying at schools until their 70's? Will we end up with a bunch of old teachers who are sorry to say "out of touch" with kids and what kids need to know? I am thankful to say, and privileged to know, that I don't see many teachers towards the end of their careers here at AHS who aren't still continuing to learn. That set such a positive example for the rest of us to follow. But back to the article.

I find it interesting how the author speaks of wealth flowing from older generations to younger generations, but now we will not see that happen as much. I have been thinking about this in terms of watching my grandparents (2 grandfathers who have already passed away, but two grandmothers still living- one 92 and one 87). I know the financial status of my grandparents as well as parents is much more than I could ever achieve especially considering I am a teacher. How can I give my own children more than what I had growing up? My mom and dad gave me more than they had, and I know their parents did the same but I am certain I will not be able to do the same for my kids. Am I sad about it? Not really, because I think I give Emma, Jack son and Will different things, but I do wonder about the change this will create in our society. Are we going to create a society of volunteers of caring and concern because people just can't give money to a problem?

Thoughts for today...

1 comment:

Karl Fisch said...

I think you hit on what is important. It's not necessary to give our kids "more" to consider ourselves successful. We just do our best to give them what they need - and that often has nothing to do with "wealth".