Final ethics

Today was my final Primary Ethics class for the school year. We finished off the topic on questioning authority. Most of the last lesson goes through the story of Rosa Parks, and how she defied segregation laws by refusing to stand up for a white person on a bus. After reading this to the class, the question was: Did Rosa Parks do anything wrong?

Most of the kids said no, because the law was wrong and unfair, while one kid said she did do something wrong because she broke the law. We had a good discussion about it, and I managed to keep the behaviour mostly under control, so lots of kids got to contribute. There were several other questions, and the continuation of the story with the bus boycotts organised by Martin Luther King Jr, leading ultimately to the Supreme Court decision that struck down the segregation laws.

After the discussion, I had to say my goodbye to the class. I wished them a fun Christmas holiday and good luck with high school, which they’ll be starting next year. It’s unlikely I’ll see any of these kids again. I had some very tough kids to control in the class, and honestly I’m glad I won’t have to teach them again, but I also had some very good kids, well behaved, with thoughtful contributions, and it’s sad to see them go.

I don’t think kids that age have the same reaction to seeing someone—someone they’ve known for a full year—for the last time. The bell went, I dismissed them, and they just ran out of the classroom. I don’t know if any of them felt any sadness or other feeling about never seeing me again – they certainly didn’t give any indication of it.

After the class I had a bit of a celebratory piece of cake from a nearby cafe, then returned home to work on assembling that batch of comics I photographed yesterday.

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