The Final Flock; Last Day Thoughts

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(Pictures above are the last group of kiddos I will teach in public school)

It’s difficult to try and sum up 20+ years of a teaching career in a few short paragraphs.

So I won’t attempt it.  But I can’t just walk out of my classroom for the final time without some commentary reflecting just a couple of thoughts.

I moved up here to NE Texas in 1989 with my family where I pastored a church for 17 years.  In 1995, I started teaching in the public school systems here as well, where I taught Algebra, History, Reading, and English. ( I drove a school bus my first 5 years up here which added to my years of service to TRS )

I stepped out of the pulpit ministry in 2005 and continued teaching at school until I became eligible for retirement this year.  Kathy and I have agreed to refrain from using the word ‘retirement’ at home.  I’m simply transitioning to the next chapter or season of life where I will expand my photography business full time.  I’m excited about turning this page but certainly having nothing but fond memories of the last 20+ years with my junior high kiddos.

I’m extremely blessed to have worked in a great school system here at Prairiland and consider them to be family.

At the start of this final school year, I was asked by a friend, who knew this would probably be it for me, what changes had I seen in kids today compared to the kids I taught twenty years ago.

It was an interesting  question and one I had to chew on.

Honestly…I don’t believe kids have changed all that much in the last 20 years.  There’s still the same rate of kids who come in from broken homes that can be a factor for many…but no more than there were when I first started teaching.  And I don’t see kids being any more ornery than they were when I was their age 40+ years ago.

But there is one particular thing that has stood out to me that I suspect has changed.  I don’t have any data or research to back this up so you can take this observation with a grain of salt.  Twenty years ago…kids obviously had TV. They had head stereos..they had their hand computer games, of sort.  But what they didn’t have that most all of them do have today…are the ‘smart’ phones.  And what that translates into…is they are inundated with constant 24/7 drivel. Those phones are attached to their hips/hands and it seems there is a constant and steady stream of endless chatter, pictures, texts, etc.

My concern is this…when do kids ever pause to just…think…reflect…ponder…probe..and imagine?   It’s almost as if this generation of kids are having their minds numbed at a gradual pace to the point that they don’t even know how to truly think…deeply (if I may use that term).  In short…their phones (and the barrage of media live streaming) thinks for them.   And that in short…would be probably the biggest difference I see in kids today than what I saw 20 years ago.

One other profound observation that goes without saying as I reflect back:

Gosh…it sped by quickly.

In the meantime… TonyCorsoImages is now open for business, full time.

See you around town.  That last chapter was quite a ride.

Looking forward to this next one.