Friday, August 28, 2009

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd Drops In

This week during Kevin Rudd's visit to Lismore, he made time to come and visit OLHC Primary to have a look at the school's netbook program. He arrived without any fanfare (and with a surprisingly small contingent of security personnel) in the front seat of a sedan. He was very relaxed and made time to stop to speak to any children who wanted to meet him and was very friendly and interested in what they were doing. The Year 5 class he visited have been doing a unit of work on genealogy and using the Internet to research their family tree and to plan a virtual trip to the countries of their ancestors. He was very patient and considerate in all his discussions with the kids and laughed and joked with everyone. One of his aids was joking and teasing him and he gave back just as good. As he was walking around the classroom he noticed one student using the web cam on a netbook, so he bent down and put his head on the child's shoulder so the student could take a picture with the web cam. It was really a kind and considerate gesture and something the student will never forget. The PM commended the kids for their work and said he wished he had a computer when he was at school. It is a great testament to our country that a leader can stroll in to a school and listen to kids without pretence, scripting or the need for a huge security apparatus. I couldn't imagine it happening in many other countries. In all the excitement we forgot to take Kevin down to the Kindergarten room. Perhaps this was one place his security had advised him not to visit. I know through personal experience of the security dangers. Kinders also have the knack of asking very tricky questions. I am proud to say I survived as a Kinder teacher for one year but constantly having kids pulling at the hairs on my ankles while reading stories to them can wear you down. This was despite placing a security cordon on the floor around my chair with masking tape. What hope would Kevin have if I couldn't keep them in control?