(Photo Credit: CBC.ca)
As you may know children in Canada have finished their first week of school and have started their second week of learning. Now that teachers have gotten to know their students, the question is, “How will the rest of the school year play out?”
With all the events that occurred this summer, the classroom is bound to be eventful, as well.
And so, dear teachers, here is some past, present, and upcoming events you should definitely discuss with your students.
The Syrian Refugee Crisis
Whoa, this is a big one. A perfect one to start with.
If you have been watching or reading the news this summer, you must know how important this topic is and why I included it on this list.Or you may recognize this boy, Alan Kurdi (a.k.a “The Boy who Woke Up the World”).
Early this month, images of Alan laying lifeless on the ground surfaced and people all over the world wept tears for this boy.
And those tears shone a light on the crisis that was going on for a long time.
Many Syrians have left to countries, such as, Germany, Austria and Hungary, seeking a new home and a new life away from the iron fist of the civil war. However, the journey is rigorous and can result in death, arrest or rejection.
Alan was one of many children traveling that journey when his boat capsized and he drowned along with his mother and brother.
The global response was huge and many leaders have pledged millions of dollars to aid refugees, world wide.
I recommend discussing this crisis with students so they can get involved in world issues. This crisis has been going on for a long time but this is a perfect time to discuss immigration and refugeeism. Many students in the classroom must have at least heard of the crisis and would like to share their knowledge of it. Therefore, before this story subsides along with their knowledge of it, discuss it with your students.
Canadian /American Election
I find it very important for teachers to help students learn how to find attributes of a good leader in someone, so, in the future, when the choice is put in their hands, they will choose one they find fit.
And this year is the best year to teach them.
With the Canadian and American federal election going on, there is no time better to teach them how to vote and why. I have had classmates who asked, “Why do I have to vote?” or “How will I benefit?”. Since teachers haven’t laid out the answer for them, they continued (and some still continue) to question elections.
On top of that, I am aware of students that don’t understand how voting works. If this keeps up, students can easily be cheated, in the future.
And so, teach the students to not question voting but to question the value of one that is running for PM (or President). Teach them to make the right choice, the choice they feel is right.
Racism in the West
Every once in a while there is an event that shines a light (a very bright one) on racism and a nation’s role in it.
However, this time, it wasn’t just one event. It was many.
It started with the death of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African-American teen, on February 26 of 2012. George Zimmerman (who was accused of shooting the teen) was acquitted of second-degree murder in July 2013. This lead to the popularity of the tag, #BlackLivesMatter and the rage only increased after the death of Micheal Brown, John Crawford and Eric Gardner, in 2014.
Meanwhile, in Ferguson (the hometown of Micheal Brown), peaceful protests were held only to be violated by police. Due to this, violence and civil unrest took place within the city.
And, just a few months ago, a mass shooting occurred at a place of peace, a church.
Known as the Charleston church shooting, this event caused the deaths of many African-Americans. Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old man, stated that he wanted to start “a race war”.
In North American, majorities can be seen rejecting minorities, whether intentionally or not. I believe teaching children and older students about racism and the harm it causes is extremely important (if not essential). It can prevent generation of racists and their victims from coming into being.
Paying for College and University
The Toronto Star wrote an article about the raising (and crazing) tuition of Ontario universities. By 2017, it is said that the average tuition will rise to about $9,483. Due to inflation, tuition and mandatory fees can cost university students $8,474, so $9,483 doesn’t seem so far fetched. The estimated tuition of 2017 is triple that of two decades ago. This insane tuition can have future high school students peeking at their wallets before they even graduate.
One way to fix this is by warning students before it’s too late for them to earn the money they need. Teach them about taxes before they find that most of their money is gone. Teach them about banks and credit cards. Teach them how to earn and use their money.
Many students will be in a bind due to debt and we can prevent it by educating them on how to use the money in their pockets.
Now this marks the end of my article. However, here are some other topics I did not get the opportunity to write about that you still should discuss with your students.
- Remembering those who served their country and why it is important.
- The Olympics and how it affects the country they live in.
- Social media and how to use it right.
- Space exploration and why how it affects a nation.
- The discovery of Kepler-452b.
- Increase of unemployment in the recent decades.
- 2015 Bangkok bombing.
- Same-sex marriage in America.