OK, our KSS Debate students are intelligent. Granted, they are cornered by design, to meet complex topics and prove positions it is debating. Sure, they are inquisitive and sometimes intellectually testy. What is so refreshing to see as an educator is the thoughtful inquiry these students engage in when motivation, relative content and contemporary skills develop with facilitation of a gifted professional like Ms. Joanne Taylor.
This group of kids have been quite something. Talented students while on task in meaningful ways are an inspiration. I’ve seen this throng of young thinkers huddled in the Library working as a cohort toward debate resolutions. Pods arguing around coffee tables, other researching with laptops computers. A few more consulting with Ms. Taylor and others intently gathered around Sharon Bede, teacher-librarian, drilling with finesse into online databases seeking digital nuggets of evidence. This scenario breaths like a modern learning commons more typically represented in a UBC library. As a colleague and high school teacher-librarian nothing feels sweeter.
I know Ms. Bede has been collaborating during the weekly after school work sessions. There is terrific mindful work going on here and it is a thrill to behold. It is inquiry based learning par excellence. It is indicative of the aspirations many of us wish to experience as a classroom profession. Win, lose or draw, I think Ms. Taylor, the debate students are getting a world-class education. Educational excellence is being practiced here and like so many invisible things KSS teachers do for our teens, I salute you. If this is the quality of service our kids get while teachers are on strike, just imagine if we had more time, support and resources. I am honoured to just be a witness.