My son came home last evening and was complaining about a sore shoulder. I asked him how he injured it. He explained how heavy his backpack is. I grabbed his backpack and picked it up. It was about 35 pounds! What? A I probed with questions, and had him clean the thing out, he mentioned more astonishing things we should be looking into as an educational community which are being ignored.
Let’s go to the backpack first. It is a simple thing right? Carry stuff from one point to another. As my son cleaned out his extremely messy backpack, we talked about each piece. While there was a lot of old paper he should have thrown out months ago, there were books in there that were unused due to the text being on technology. I told my son to promptly take them out and not carry them around. I was slightly perturbed that the school and parents spend money on useless materials. I then asked my son why he didn’t stop at his locker between periods. More interesting answers…
My son mentioned they have 2 minute passing period. Before you go into your “in my day we had 1 minute passing periods” speech, think about what the heck is going on. I visualized students rushing through the day without ever deeply learning anything other than their schedule and where to go next. My son mentioned that so many students were asking to use the bathroom during the day that many teachers told them to go during the passing period. Are you “bleeping” kidding me?!
Let me paint the picture for you.
We have students rushing through their schedule with 30 to 50 pounds on their backs having to rush to take a piss in a two minute passing period trying to learn something in all of this mess.
I’m surprised that my kid doesn’t come home sore and smelling of urine every day!
We as educators need to take a serious look at the environment our kids are learning in. So many articles are coming out on how students are disengaged and stressed out these days. Stop and look what their actual learning environment is and you will understand it’s not always a lazy kid. We are setting up our students for sore backs and kidney problems! Think about if your job environment was like this. You would quit. Why do you think our students are?
Share this with your local school board members and administrators. They need to realize what we are doing to our students. Show them what harmful environments they are in and demand change. Maybe our future generations won’t have to “walk 20 miles uphill in 12 inches of snow both way to school everyday” like we did.