Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Here is another post in my Conversation Ideas series.

Each share how many schools you have gone to in your lives and how many years in total. Did you like school? What was the favorite subject? The most difficult? What were some of the other subjects you studied? At what age did you start doing homework? Did you go to a government school or a private one? Just for girls or mixed? Did you wear a uniform? If so, what did they look like? What is the value in wearing a school uniform?

Each share about your favorite teachers and why you liked them. Were you scared of any teachers? Why? What makes a teacher loved? Feared?

What did your teachers do if you were bad in class?

Do children sometimes fail grades? Is competition strong in schools in your country? How about creativity?

Did you take sewing, cooking , music, sports, health or sex education? Do you think sex education should be taught in school? If not, how do people receive sex education?

Children here often go on field trips. Describe some of the field trips. Discover if your friend grew up with field trips.

Did you have to sing the national anthem in school every day? Can you tell me what your national anthem says? You could go over our national anthem.

Have you ever heard of home-schooling? Describe it to your friend if she isn’t acquainted with it. Explain also why people home-school their children. Inquire if that is done in your friend’s home country.

If you have any school year books you could show them what school was like for you. See if she can find you in some of the pictures.

Discuss the difference between gaining knowledge and wisdom. We go through different kinds of schools. We go to a school in a classroom. We also can go through a school of “hard knocks” which is a school of developing patience in the midst of suffering. It’s not learned in a classroom. (Muslims are acquainted with Job who is called Ayub/eye-yube. Ask her what she knows about Ayub.) What did he learn? Have you ever suffered and learned something special from it? (You could share how you learned patience in suffering or some special wisdom.) Suffering is not just an ‘examination’ like Muslims often call it to see if we passed the test with God. God wants to, and can, use that suffering in some special way. (Perhaps give a modern day illustration of some woman who suffered and she has been used of God. Joni, the paraplegic, is one example. She has given dignity to the handicapped and shown the world it can’t stop her from being useful.)