Thursday, September 22, 2011

Responding to the Classroom Shuffle

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Today’s Blog Post
Responding to the Classroom Shuffle

What a difference three generations make.

This fall as my grandkids headed back to school again, they are off to new adventures and a life full of opportunities. It is so exciting to see it happen.

This week my cousin Sharon and I have been reminiscing over the old days. She told me how she started in a small one room school in a small town in western Canada.

That brought my memories of the two room school that we attended on the east side of Regina. It was kind of out in the boonies too… not quite country but almost.

For the most part people my age started with the kids we grew up with and then continued on through the years… until we possibly married someone from the small school we started in.

What a difference we had in our lives compared to the ones the kids face today.

There is something called the “Shuffle” that can take place at any time of the year in present day school. Most often it appears to come right at the beginning of the school year when students are just starting to settle in to their school situation.

This past few days in the Globe and Mail Newspaper a story of Campbell Carlisle caught my attention. Campbell started his new school in another community that he was bussed to… then had to leave that school for another when the shuffle took place.

The teacher that he just met and was starting to bond to… was moved… the students were shuffled around. Apparently it was all because of the attendance levels… or something.

I can only imagine the struggle young Campbell had when he was required to walk into a new class where there were new students that he had not met. There were already bounds among the students in that class and he was the outsider.

As an adult I find that a little hard… but as a Kindergarten student I can only imagine what it was like for this poor young fellow.

It has to happen because teachers are needed somewhere else… and likely because they didn’t really know how many kids would be attending the school.. or either local school.

With the family of today being highly mobile and sometimes moving many times during a child’s lifetime at home… the school can’t tell what will happen. That is true even one or two months ahead of school opening.

In Peterborough they are about to close one high school… because of attendance and enrolment. There was a time of turmoil when the decision was being made. The decision is now complete from what I have heard. These older kids will now feel what their young siblings are going through.

It is about budgets and the proper business practice of running a school… not about the relationship in education.

I am so thankful that I attended the small schools that I did. I am thankful for teachers that stuck it out with guys like me.

Memories… and reality.

~ Murray Lincoln ~


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