The image above is a student from one of my relief schooling opportunities commenting in reply to someone asking me to prove that God exists.
Alrighty, well I’m back and reflecting upon more relief work today: I had the opportunity to do relief at an Independent Public School yesterday (a Thursday) and it was an eye-opening experience. I am both very grateful for my years of experience teaching in private and Catholic schools thus far, but also deeply ashamed of the wide gap or disparity of resourcing that is caused by the existence of such schools (in the name of choice) while public schooling is under-resourced comparatively. Older technologies such as evaporative cooling in many classrooms and lots less emphasis on creating welcoming and well-maintained teaching and learning spaces, with far more rubbish and litter and food in classrooms than I’m used to (though please understand I am not at all critical of the staffing individuals I saw and met, who are genuinely involved in the educational project, its just that the objective reality of what I saw and freely intend to go back to next week and beyond for both the necessary money to fund my new life ambitions and also the learning and self-growth opportunity + the chance to witness for Christ to public school age children, is saddening – its a very tough life for some children and their language and attitudes reflect this sharply). There were lots and lots of f-words and a few c-words too (being said by 12 – 15 year olds), many of the older and/or more mature children were quiet and not sullen but also not happy and relaxed, quiet more out of being intimidated to silence. I was also told during break times in a short but very pleasant staff chat in the HASS department offices, that children aren’t allowed long lunch compared to recess (both are 25 min) so that fights don’t break out, and that occasionally even that’s not enough and the classes resume and teachers elect to allow children to finish eating in the classes. I am deliberately not naming the College (a rebadged name of a Senior High School or SHS) but it’s in Perth’s South-East and in a relatively low socio-economic area with high immigrant population as well. I truly believe in the potential of education to improve lives and outcomes for young people, but the reality of the disparate starting points of many is confronting, which is part of what motivated me to want to leave the ‘cushy’ position I’d grown overly comfortable and stagnated within @ my former employer. Today I’ll be filming my next video on atheist vs theist positions for upload on Sunday and I am also going to take my little girl to the public pools as it will be very hot later! May God bless us all with continued peace and the chance to improve and be better today than we were yesterday – amen.