FTLComm - Tisdale - September 13, 1999
The trend for many years has been to gradually shorten the summer vacation with school running to the end of June and resuming in the last week of August. The summer of 1999 was a reversal of this trend with school wrapping up toward the end of June and not resuming until the very end of August. Though for most students in the province the difference may have only been a few days. Everything counts and for children the time away from school is measured carefully. Not because of its affect on them but because in the short lives of a child time is much more apparent and without much perspective even little changes make a very big difference.

Children of all ages are always eager to resume the school year. We adults have the mistaken belief that children go to school to learn, well they do, but their interpretation of learning and ours differs considerably as they are incredibly social beings and the interaction with each other is the prime concern. Only through experiences with others can you measure and equate your own progress and development. These two pictures were taken near the end of recess Friday afternoon of last week and I am certain this is the most important part of the day for these people.

Recess is the collective free time and unstructured learning experience that determines appropriate behaviour. It is the test to see if you have mastered the experience of today and the days before. The picture below of the big toy is to far away for you to see that there are at least thirty five to seven year olds scrambling around that structure. They have, at various levels, mastered or are working on, movement and social interactions without collisions and injury. Perhaps one of the other important lessons in progress is that of controlling conflict.

Conflict is so important in human life, learning to disagree in a friendly and pleasant way is a skill to be mastered. So few of us realise how important it is to be able to disagree effectively.