Holiday time

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Not quite Queensland where I spent Christmas, but just before the beginning of the longer break I spent a weekend in Newcastle (NSW, Australia). I have pretty much always lived inland, so the beach was something which we had to visit and get to know once a year.

What has this got to do with education?

We have students who live in places which they never leave, not being able to experience things which are outside their everyday. I was lucky that Dad used to take me to the beach at least once a year. Just as I was lucky  that he took me to the city (Melbourne mostly) so that I was expose to things like public transport and different types of people. There was a large learning curve from the dairy farm I lived on everyday.

A few years ago I had the pleasure of taking a group of country girls shopping to the city. We went on trams (a first for the majority of the group), went to shopping centres which were more than one floor and 15 shops, and ate things for lunch which they had never had before (sushi). They spent money on things they didn’t want or need, but they had an absolute ball doing it. There was laughter, photos of girls wearing shoes they would never buy (or be able to walk in), and the look on their faces when we exited the train into a group of about 20 black clad goths was possibly my highlight of the trip. They had been removed from their everyday and learned many valuable things. None of which are in the official curriculum.

Sometimes straying from the curriculum is important. As is taking a break to step outside your everyday.

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