August 17, 2017


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Is there any place in school for enjoyment?

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 24/2/2014 (1269 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Wow, did that escalate and spiral out of control at warp speed.

Friday, I saw on Twitter that a teacher I’ve met and interviewed was all upset with a story I’d helped write about businesses and schools and other places that were letting people watch the Canada-U.S. men’s hockey game Friday. Included was mention of public school divisions that were leaving it up to schools to decide; in some cases, the superintendent was encouraging that students be allowed to watch.

This teacher was appalled at the notion. The teacher said he’d be upset as a parent if a teacher was letting his kid watch hockey instead of teaching her to read.

I thought there’s room to let kids enjoy a special event. I made an allusion, somewhat sarcastically, to Sept. 28, 1972.

The teacher came back and said he’d prefer to spend the time helping his students develop critical thinking about what the Olympics are really all about. Good idea, I’d certainly go for that, would encourage all teachers to do it at an age-appropriate level, but the week has another 165 hours in which one of the biggest hockey games of the decade is not being played.

And back he came suggesting I care nothing about the oppressed in Syria, Ukraine, Russia, and elsewhere.

I didn’t respond — I just let that last one sit there in cyberspace and be RTed and favourited.


Back in the day, people would have talked about taking time to stop and smell the roses. I think there’s room for us to stop and have a little fun and feel a little joy; indeed, I think we might do a better job of saving the world if we allowed ourselves a little enjoyment along the way.

One of the many, many reasons I never became a senior manager in newspapers was the heresy I uttered over the decades about my believing that people could do better work in 60 hours than in 90, and that people who had time for a personal and family life performed their work better than those who were told that work is everything. The principle here is the same, at least it is to my deluded way of thinking.

I don’t think that the kids in Manitoba who watched that terrific game Friday, or who watched the women’s even more incredible game Thursday, while they were in school, will turn out to be less-educated or less worthy as citizens.

And yes, I do care about the oppressed in Syria and Ukraine and Russia, and have cared about the oppressed a lot longer than that teacher has been alive.


Read more by Nick Martin.


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