Today, as I meandered through the cafeteria during sixth grade lunch, touching shoulders, saying hello, and checking to make sure everyone had gone through the line, I wondered what my Slice could be about. So many possibilities, I thought, the weather frustrations, the upcoming St. Patty's Day parade, my favorite students...usually a topic makes itself known during the day.
While chatting with two of our custodians, one commented to me that the sixth grade seemed pretty quiet today, which was unusual after a three-day weekend. After we adults high-fived each other, I glanced around - and sure enough they were very quiet (low roar, rather than loud). Why? Not altogether shocked I realized the answer quickly.
Almost all of the students that stayed in the cafeteria (rather than going outside) were attached to a device, either their school-issued iPad or a phone. My joy over the quiet dissipated and was replaced with a feeling of discomfort. In relaxing our rules about devices so that students can be on their devices during lunch, what problems have we created?
Would these kids never enjoy the outdoors? The National Parks? The amazing things to see and do that are just not the same on a device? Would they read and enjoy books, actual books with fascinating covers and folded down corners where the person before them marked their page? Would they explore other worlds and lives by reliving history at museums and historical sites?
So, I know (intellectually) that I went to worst case scenario in my head during this lunch period. I know, too, that there have been many unknowns in the world and we human beings have adapted to and adopted many new practices to adjust to these new things. But I can't help but worry about how things will change.
Must be a sign of my age.
4 hours ago