Thinking. High school
Our daughter is in year 5, and the dreaded High School decision is coming up.
Last night I took her to an Open Day at the local Anglican high school. As we followed the tour around, looking at interactive whiteboards, video conferencing facilities, carpets in every classroom, camping equipment for Duke of Edinburgh awards, computers, a library to rival any I've seen anywhere, national competitions for car racing and artworks that could be in the Archibald Prize, I thought back to the facilities at my high school in Pakistan.
Our high school was a converted old church building and it was freezing. Sandstone and high ceilings meant that whatever warm air might once have existed inside quickly got whisked away to the highest points. We had gas heaters that hardly made a dint in the cold weather, and we all wore fingerless gloves and thick jackets during class.
Our classrooms were built into the side of the church and were small and dark. We did have a library, up some fairly unsafe stairs, plus a room with computers in it - four Apple IIe that needed to be booted up from 5" floppies on start up, and a dot matrix printer that used continuous paper.
Our science lab would probably be considered unworthy of use by today's standards. I'm imagining it covered up with police tape! We certainly didn't have a piece of equipment on loan from the Questacon science centre. Our art and cooking room was pretty cool when it was built. But it didn't have 10 workstations, each with their own stove and sink. Our 'performance space' consisted of a stage in the auditorium.
But we did ok. In fact, we did pretty well. We didn't do D of E camping trips in kayaks, and we didn't create 3D models of racing cars which could then be made on a router, but we had some pretty cool times down in the forest with pattaka bombs.
I feel like the old person who says, "Well, when I was a girl, we walked on cobblestones in our bare feet to school..."