But students move almost never. And never is exhausting. In every class for four long blocks, the expectation was for us to come in, take our seats, and sit down for the duration of the time. By the end of the day, I could not stop yawning and I was desperate to move or stretch. I couldn’t believe how alert my host student was, because it took a lot of conscious effort for me not to get up and start doing jumping jacks in the middle of Science just to keep my mind and body from slipping into oblivion after so many hours of sitting passively.
This is a natural result of the mechanized learning we have imposed upon our young people. I had professors at UMass who pointed this out. School is not about bolstering the intellect or even rote learning as much as it is about social conditioning. We don’t have the resources to treat every student as an individual, but as a raw piece of clay we can at best hope to mold into something productive.
Not every kid is going to be an Einstein or a Bill Gates, but the requirements to address kids as individuals will forever outstrip our ability as a society to provide the resources to make this happen. Sorry to say, but some kids probably deserve more attention than others. Just don’t tell that to the parents.