While yesterday was not a normal practicum day I was able to spend the later part of the day from after recess on with my class. We had the fabulous opportunity to have one of the members of the Canadian Military we have been communicating with spend the afternoon with us. Corporal Christopher Allison aka Chris or Pher joined us in the classroom for a chat and to share some stories with the students, while I had heard many of the stories before in some for it took on a different meaning for me when I saw my student’s reactions to the stories. He shared one of my favourites about his participation and experience at the Remembrance Day Activities in Ypres and Vimy Ridge, a story I could never hope to tell or even type well enough to do it justice. The image that was painted for us in his words was magical we could see the events and the setting and hear the sounds we were transported to Ypres and Vimy Ridge.
As for Div. 4, I was very pleased with the thoughtful and deep questions they posed and the answer they learned that as a good question and answer often does lead to more questions. We also looked at the three components of Canada’s military and what makes them unique. The students had some questions of immediate concern answered as well, in the field they sleep in the open or a hammock if their lucky and in the winter a tent, but most of the time in a house and a normal bed. They also learned that lunch every day includes a chocolate bar, Div. 4 looked a little jealous of that. They learned the process that they take to become a soldier, and that they take classes” just like we do”. They learned that each member of the military works with a ” Fire Partner” and that they take care of each other and that they work in groups about the size of our class, that are organized into bigger groups about the size of our school. The students also heard what they do to prepare for trips like the one they just took to Europe. We even discussed in a child friendly way and in words Div.4 understood how WWII started and one of my young gentle men may have a new inquiry project. The students also learned that his all time favourite project was building a hockey rink for children and youth in a rural Ontario community. It was cool to hear about all the different ways that they build bridges in only a few hours and how heavy the pieces that they have to lift are. As well as some of talk of peace, because Chris was my inspiration for the peace work I did with Div. 4 in the fall.
It was an honour to have him in the classroom, it also meant a lot to me to have one of my good friends and one of the best friends of my childhood and teen years come share with my students. I sincerely hope that Div. 4 has taken something positive away from the experience and this has helped them develop a deeper understanding of peace.