I have to brag a bit on the students and staff at Anastasis. Last week, we turned school into a mock sweatshop where students learned what it would be like to be child laborers. The adults were mean. No bathroom breaks, no drinks, no smiles. It was a rough day for all of us. The kids spent the half day of school learning about child labor and then breaking bricks in our sweat shop. The transformation in their understanding of what 200 million children around the world endure daily was astonishing. They were able to put into words how helpless they felt. How tired, hungry, sad, angry, frustrated they were. How mad they were when the result of their hard labor wasn’t enough to feed their family.
Lessons we learned:
- As a teacher it is HARD to be that “cruel” to your students. It was hard not to give them a smile of reassurance, a kind word or a pat on the back. It was hard to be that uncaring.
- We all learned that many of the brands we purchase every day employ child labor.
- We learned that poverty is a major contributing factor to child labor.
- We learned that some of these kids are considered lower than the livestock…they are expendable.
- We learned that our students are compassionate and care about one another.
- We learned that we have to be the change we want to see in the world.
As a result of the day, @leadingwlove’s class decided to start a foundation. They are calling it the LSGW foundation and it is worth checking out! I am SO proud of these students for going above and beyond just learning and into action. They aren’t using age as an excuse and they aren’t willing to wait for someone else to fix the problem. These are 11 and 12 year old students. Changemakers.
I wrote more about the details of the day here: From Out of the Dust, Dreams