FROM A TEACHER: Yesterday, I shut down class about 5 minutes early and told my students I wanted them to just sit and talk to one another. Several of them immediately opened their laptops and began navigating to their favorite computer game.
I said, "No, no laptops. I want you to have face-to-face conversations right now."
After a collective groan went up, I observed something both wonderful and alarming. For the next few minutes, a couple of tables came alive with conversation. They looked at each other in the eyes and talked with great enthusiasm and interest. It was beautiful to watch and listen to.
However, many students were deflated. They did not know what to do without some sort of entertainment from a device. A couple of them put their heads down and avoided eye contact with anyone. I went around the room to those students and tried to engage with them. Some of them mustered a few words, but most didn't know what to do.
I share this story as a wakeup call for parents, grandparents, and guardians. It's tragic to me that a large percentage of today's youth do not know how to have real conversation, but it's not their fault. It is our responsibility as adults to lead by example and hold our kids accountable. Unplug every day, talk, and listen to your children. Getting lost in a device does not help them cope with and overcome the things they're going through mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. All it causes is isolation and depression. They need relationships; they need you.
I plan on doing it again today. #PleaseShare
This was written and supplied by Margaret Johnson in Kaikohe
We're very excited to announce Competenz as our new Neighbourly partner. Competenz is an Industry Training Organisation and helps people develop their skills on the job.
We truly believe in the work they do to help people gain apprenticeships, build their skills and work alongside New Zealand businesses.
Please join us in welcoming Competenz and stay tuned for job listings and other exciting content!
The Ministry of Social Development has recently updated the Guide for Carers, a valuable resource for those who care for family, whānau, āiga or friends with a health condition, a disability, an injury, or a physical or mental illness.
It covers a range of topics such as financial help, assessing needs, getting help at home and being able to take a break from caring.
The Guide for Carers is available online now: bit.ly...
For more information about resources like this and other advice, read our SuperSeniors newsletter: bit.ly...
Would you support the introduction of MMP to local body elections?
A former Labour minister has called on the government to implement MMP as the voting system for local body elections in a bid to 'fix' local government.
Peter Neilson, an economist, is a former Labour MP for Miramar, a Minister of Revenue, Works and Associate Minister of Finance. Neilson explains how MMP could have a positive impact on civic participation after data from Internal Affairs showed a decline in voter turnout.
Around four out of 10 New Zealanders on the electoral role turned out to vote in the last set of local elections. In comparison, around seven or eight out 10 voted in the general election last year.
Share your thoughts below and don't forget to type NFP if you don't want your comment featured in the Northern News.