The 2019 school year is almost over as parents, teachers, support staff, management we should finish strong and push just a little harder to realize our goals for the year.
Term 4 is also a time for awards and celebrations. This reminded me of my son’s second prize giving last year, ten more to go.
Parents descended into the venue excited to see their little one’s progress into the next grade and it was the last day of a very busy and long school year.
Teachers were clearly tired with each family fighting to sneak in a word about their children's performance and the kids battling for their attention even on the last day, teaching is one noble profession.
As we remained seated waiting for the event to start and I observed the interactions. One parent said to me "I could never do this it is too much work"
As the principal announced each grade the learners walked in from the back through the aisle led by their teachers making their way to their designated seats in the front we clapped and cheered.
The stars of the day the grade R's made their entrance in over-sized graduation gowns.
It was eye-watering the cheers and claps became louder and more intense, it reminded me of my son's graduation a year earlier.
This then progressed into each grade being awarded academic and non-academic awards.
However, this quickly degenerated into a photo and video taking challenge.
Parents making their way to the front armed with their smartphones, battling for pole position the aisle soon disappeared to take the perfect picture, blocking the rest of the seated families.
The parents that remained seated had to occasionally ask their counterparts to move out of the way.
That didn't help as more parents made their way to the front to join the professional photographer that the school had tasked with taking a picture of each child with the principal as they were handed their certificates.
We turned into the paparazzi-like those we see on MTV and our kids were the stars
As much as we were all excited and proud. This took away from us being fully present and enjoying the moment.
Because of all these distractions parents that remained seated couldn't hear or see when their kids.
Other children were called to collect their certificates in Maths, literacy, and Zulu whiz kids, kids that demonstrated determination, grit, etc. were announced but we couldn't see nor hear
Perhaps schools should make use of 360 cameras and other photographic technology.
Maybe this is an opportunity for entrepreneurs or camera/technology companies to tailor an affordable offering that caters for this.
Allowing for these functions to be recorded both video and pictures and then families can download the pictures and videos they want post the event.
And ban taking pictures inside the prize-giving/graduation venue
Living in the smartphone and social media age always feeling the need to capture, post and share is exhausting and inconsiderate to others most of all to the kids.
Instead of being fully engaged we are preoccupied with taking the perfect photo and selfie.
"Everybody has multiple social media timeliness they have to Feed with content in real-time irrespective of the nature of the event".
Hopefully, such an intervention will result in us being fully present and engaged in these priceless moments.
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