I’ve been working in Durham recently, and yesterday, my last day, coincided with the Fridays For Future climate strikes, by young people across the world. As this was our last day, we were encouraged to educate our students about it.
I was posed with a problem – all the technology in my classroom was not working, and so I had to wait until IT came to fix it. By the time they did, it was almost the end of the lesson, and thus the end of my job here.
Nevertheless, in the last fifteen or so minutes, I used my PowerPoint and explained to the students why these strikes were occurring and also how they could be involved. I also spoke a little about strikes in general, as their own lecturers may be on strike in the coming academic year.
After the class was over, I headed down to the market square in the city centre, where the strikes were taking place. Some teachers had taken their students to a lecture held by one of the climate strikers. I opted not to do this – there was limited space and it was first come, first served (and I wasn’t the first). Still, I felt that I should attend something.
When I arrived at the strike, not only were there so many people, especially young people (including primary school aged), but also some of my students had arrived and were taking photos. That was nice, and shows that, even superficially, they were interested in what was happening. In fact, when I explained about it first of all in class, one student said ‘Wow, that’s amazing’. So, you know, I must have done something right!