Friday, 1 September 2017

Our local MP drops in for a visit

At the moment, our year 9's are learning all about our government.  There are a lot of systems and processes that they need to know to understand how it all works and sometimes our kids get disengaged and bored because it feels so far removed from their realities.  To try and get them to understand the importance of the up and coming elections, I invited our local MP Simon O'Connor to talk to some of our students about what it's like to be an MP at the moment.
Simon shares his journey with some of our year 9's

He talked about the challenges he faces in his job and his passion in helping the people in our community.  At question time, our students asked what his inspirations were, whether he played sport when he was younger and where he saw himself in 6 years time.  Simon's mother and family were his main inspirations which resonated with many of our students.  He shared that he played soccer and cricket when he was younger and that his favourite past time at the moment was fencing.  He shared a story of when he went to the doctor and showed the doctor his chest full of bruises and the doctor asked him if everything was alright at home (our kids found this hilarious!).  When asked where he saw himself in 6 years, he answered 'in the opposition' and some of kids looked at each other, wondering what he was implying.
Simon showing our kids his fencing stance

After question time, some of our students wanted to share their sustainability inquiries with Simon to show him what they thought the issues in our community were.  He expressed how pleased he was with the effort our kids had put into their inquiries and spent time listening to their thoughts on the issues.  Before he left, I explained that our kids will blog about his visit and he said he was happy to read them and leave comments.
Fusi and Lana sharing their inquiry on protecting our language
Simon marvels at Jolise's 'Our homes and houses' project
Simon is left speechless after seeing Danny's project

Overall, I think this visit was successful in connecting our kids to their learning.  They could put a real person to a photo, and hopefully believe that they too could be an MP someday.  By sharing their blogs with him, they will have an authentic audience which will validate their learning.

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