Saturday, 27 June 2009
I loved summer days listening to Alice Cooper. Having spent the last two weeks involved in all sorts of end of term activities in my numerous school chaplaincies, from judging talent shows to praying at award ceremonies- and a whole gamut of opportunities in between - it has come of something of a relief to know that that frenzy is over for another year.
What strikes me as most different from my school days is the emotion that youngsters display faced with the prospect of moving on. I can't even remember feeling such emotions, never mind displaying them. At our recent secondary school functions, senior pupils were given space and opportunity to reflect on their education so far and encouraged and affirmed in their mixed emotions at moving on. And the picture was very similar for pupils moving from primary to secondary education. Somehow, displaying emotions has become a healthy option. Changed days indeed.
Another huge change is how the potential of these pupils is honoured and celebrated. They really are encouraged to "follow their dreams". Even in these days of economic recession, there is still the belief - not unrealistic, either - that they can achieve whatever they set their hearts and minds on. And, you know, even the most cynical could be convinced by the grit and determination and simple self belief displayed by so many of our young folks. More power to them.
It seems to me that it is in keeping with the heart of the gospel to foster this health and wholeness in every child that we encounter, providing the nurture and encouragement that will lead to their maximising their potential.