A message from the Rev’d Amanda Collinson

Posted by Admin on Wednesday, 30th August 2017, 11:49

Amanda Collinson

Priest-in-Charge

St John the Baptist Church

Northwood.

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Tel: 01983 294913

Email: amandacollinson01@gmail.com

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Hello there!

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‘What on earth do they teach them at school?’

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I remember my Gran saying this when listening to the boys one day…. the thing is this comment has about a dozen levels of meaning! I think she genuinely wanted to know what they were learning at school as she was continually amazed and astounded by what the boys came out with but she was also acutely aware that school in the 21st Century is very different to what she experienced in the first quarter or so of the 20th Century.
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However, on reflection it is a good question – What do today’s teachers teach the pupils of 2017? James, my teacher husband, tells me that he and his colleagues in their Secondary School Science department must prepare their pupils for jobs that currently don’t exist…. yes, my head slightly exploded when I first heard that too! But if you think about what has been invented since 2000 which includes Bluetooth, iPod, Skype, Facebook, YouTube, iPlayer, iPad this school policy actually makes sense.  Ask any person under 20 to live without these items or apps and they would almost find it impossible yet some of them have already been superseded – only a few people still use iPods and Skype has lost the race of best video conferencing to What’s App…and all this has happened in less than 15 years!!!
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Last month we saw the new Aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, arrive in Portsmouth Harbour, watched by thousands of people on the shorelines and millions around the world.  The Royal Navy Senior Officers all stated that this ship will be in service for 50 years…. hmmm let’s just think about this: so, this ship will still be operating in 2067, when my husband will be one hundred years old, my children in their late 50s possibly with children and maybe even grandchildren of their own?   Whilst I am not wanting to disbelieve my old employers I find it hard to truly believe that – yes, it is an awesome aircraft carrier but will it still have sufficiently modern weaponry and technology to be efficient and ‘fighting fit’ so far into the future?  Can you even begin to imagine what the world will be like in 50 years time? What technology will be in our pockets or on our wrists? What wars will our Armed Forces be fighting in? The latest weapons the world has recently been facing have been normal cars driven by terrorists through tourist places around the world, how will we become better prepared for such attacks or would they have been replaced by even harder to detect plots?
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Fortunately, we do not have to worry about these questions, but in our thoughts and prayers we must remember those who do, however what we are responsible for is helping to teach our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren – it is not just down to the teachers.
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Jesus uses stories throughout his ministry to teach his disciples and those who came to listen to him.  He knew how important it was to pass on lessons, morals, traditions and used things that everyone was used to such as farming techniques to try and make sure people took away his lessons and use them in their everyday lives.  And we do the same today – in our house we are already passing on family traditions and important life lessons to our boys.  We want to ensure our boys have the similar beliefs and values as we have and that can only happen if we are part of the teaching process ourselves.  And no teaching qualification is needed to achieve this (thank goodness) – you just need to have a concern for your children and the world!
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So as the teachers and pupils return to school this month remember it is not just English, Maths and Science that children need to understand and that learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom.  However long it has been since you have been in a classroom yourself, be interested in what the youngsters are doing in their classes and learning in their everyday lives.  We all have a role to play in the education of those younger than us (noting that we are never too old to learn something!) and be aware of what the children are learning so the next time you hear the statement ‘What on earth do they teach them at school’ you can give some insight with a smile!
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Wishing you a learned and educational month!

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Rev’d Amanda.

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