Tuesday, July 1, 2014

#WeirdEd Week 12: The World Cup

I'm opening with a deep and profound thought, so prepare yourselves.

Are you properly prepared? Sitting down? Seat in an upright and locked position?

Here it goes: The World is a HUGE place.

There, aren't you glad you were prepared for that?

Here's the thing though- I don't think most adults know how big the world really is. How many people exist on the planet, how different yet the same we are. How normal is abnormal in so many places. How run of the mill somewhere would scare the pants off some of us.

I try hard to expand my world view. I acknowledge that I still don't really know how spread out we are. I take steps to combat that. I don't have the money to travel, but when I do I like getting outta Dodge. Look at who follows you and who you follow on twitter. I'll be honest, I go out of my way to follow non-American teachers. Like, if you're from the States I'll check out your profile, read a few of your tweets, vet you. If your profile says, "Teacher. Australia" I click FOLLOW so hard you feel it.

And if we adults, the wise ones we are*, don't realize how big the world is, how can the kids? Should they realize how big the world is? I know my kids in Hawaii didn't. One of my favorite things was to pull down the world map and point at the tiny speck that is the island. "Here!" I'd shout. "This is you! This teeny tiny itsy speck is you! And this," I gesture wildly to the rest of the map, "is EVERYTHING else! See. The. World." Island dwellers have no idea how big the world is.

But neither do my kids in Oregon. Not really. Only military kids seem to have an idea, and that's because mom (or dad) showed them where the other parent is stationed, or they were stationed there as a family.  They know flight times and time zones and how there's places around the world their classmates have never heard of.

The Olympics are a great time to do this. So is the World Cup (if it happened while school was in session, and of course I mean the Rugby World Cup, not that other one). Those come but once every two-to-four years though. What about the rest of the time? How do you make the world real?

*Things to think about**
How important is it that students understand the size of the world? At what age should this concept be introduced? How many non-American (or non-your country) people do you follow/know? Don't you wish you spoke another language so you could follow those people too? Is Finland really that great? Really? How do you share the size, breadth, and variety of the world with your students? How do you experience it yourself? How do you make the world real to your kids?

*I'm not really an adult. It's an act

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