What I miss

This post started out as Why do I still care, but it got too long, and eventually morphed into an over the top Why am I still angry. It will probably just be one of those rants I write for my own good, and never publish. I obviously have some things on my mind as school gets ready to start up, and I will not be going back, for the second year. Yes, I am still having back to school dreams, just like every other teacher…

In the middle of starting that post, I began listing a few things that occurred regularly during my 21 years at my old school – that are now gone – things that I really missed. As I thought about them before writing them down, I got real sad. The kids at my school loved these things, and so did I:

Times were certainly very different, and there are many reasons those events do not continue. But the fact remains that there is now a void for the kids – a void once filled with events just for fun – some were definitely learning opportunities – but none had anything to do with standardized tests, scripted learning, or competitive academics.

The things I miss built character, encouraged collaboration and socialization, stretched artistic and physical boundaries, and pushed kids to take chances of all kinds.

For a peek back into a different time, take a look at a few editions of the Jr. Seahawk Newsletter. Just choose a few issues at random – there are 18 years worth of student writing! The kids wrote about things they cared about and wanted to tell the world about. They were just having a good time, growing up. One example: the kids wrote about the event below in April/May 1997.

Principal Carl Leatherman makes an unforgettable entrance at a school assembly.

Thanks, Carl!

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About Mark Ahlness

I am a retired teacher, with dreams of still making a difference.
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4 Responses to What I miss

  1. Bob Braxton says:

    especially like that kids were writing

  2. willsoni says:

    I remember that assembly. It was the coolest thing to see Mr. Leatherman ride in on his motorcycle and has stuck with me all these years later when I remember my days at Arbor Heights. Wish I could go back. The list you made brought back so many wonderful memories. To think of even one of those things being absent from my childhood at AH astonishes me, but it is unfortunately the world we live in; however, it is also the world that we have the opportunity to change. They also had a banking day with WA Mutual to get us in the habit of saving – didn’t work for me, but I did love to try! Because of the open library and even being able to be a library helper they ended up giving me a book on WWII history that I wouldn’t stop checking out – something they probably can’t do anymore either. It is time that my generation works to bring back all the good that is lost for many reasons – it will happen. Although I had Mrs. Salter for third grade, the entire school was wonderful back then and I miss it a lot.

  3. Mark Ahlness says:

    School banking – I knew I’d forgotten something! Thanks for sharing your positive thoughts and memories, Ian. Stop by the school sometime this year and say hi to Mrs. Salter – she’s still teaching there and I’m sure would love to see you. Take care – Mr. A.

  4. Karen Cross says:

    I remember ALL of those things/events when my kids were students at AH.
    They looked forward to all of them and participated in many of them. It enriched their experience at AH.
    Sad to learn current students don’t get to experience this.

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