You were taught...to be made new in the attitudes of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God...Ephesians 4: 22-24
Why do children enjoy dress-ups? Well, it is easier to imagine being Batman when you look like him! Children often dress up as who they would like to be when they grow up. It is a kind of practice for the real thing.
Early this Term, I was privileged to visit a Year 1-2 class. During my visit, students were asked to discuss the question, ‘Are manners taught at home or school?’
This discussion was part of an ABC News investigation. An ABC journalist was present to talk with the children and listen to their points of view.
In my discussions with the journalist prior to the event, it was clear that she felt manners opened up opportunities for children at school and allowed everyone in the classroom community to work harmoniously. Would the students agree?
Many students articulated well-developed opinions on the matter. They agreed that home is where you learn manners and school is for subjects like ‘times tables’ and ‘spelling.’ The manners it seemed were like underlying foundations that allowed for the building of knowledge in the school environment.
The students’ instincts were pretty accurate. They seemed to understand (if not articulate) that what happens at school builds on and reinforces the values and attitudes that are modeled and taught at home by parents and caregivers.
Of course, important though times tables and spelling are, school offers more!
During the last few weeks, many students at NCS have been involved in the Shoalhaven Eisteddfod. We have seen students challenge themselves in choral singing, verse speaking and musical and dramatic performances. What really makes opportunities like the Eisteddfod special is that they grow the individual involved. All these activities (as well as day-to-day classes) ‘equip students for life’ in a similar way to how Years 1 and 2 children believed manners equipped them for school.
Ultimately, the learning that takes place at home and school is practice for the real thing: learning to be God’s people, to grow into Christ.