Connecting: The Reasons to Return to School

About a month ago I decided to take on a side project at my school (like I wasn’t busy enough already!!!). I decided to use media to attempt to connect with new students at my school as well as members of our district in general as to, “Why should adult students return to school?” I created a movie, modeled after Michael Wesch’s, “A Vision of Students Today“, which showcases the staff at my centre, and then many students at our centre, who answer two questions, ‘Why are you here?’, and ‘What do you like about CALC [the Cowichan Adult Learning Centre]?’ What I received in response to these questions was very moving. Students really opened up and shared what I felt was quite personal at times…

Since it’s screening last Friday, the movie has been passed around to all of the principals and vice principals in my school district (not my doing!). I have received emails from our superintendent and from our School Board trustee, Mike McKay. I didn’t see that coming.

One message that has been reinforced by this course is that the media available today can be used to create messages that are powerful and spread so quickly it is difficult to comprehend at times. Perhaps more importantly, the use of digital medias, and the change to the visual, has helped me to connect with my students in new ways that are powerful.

Mel Burgess

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5 Responses to Connecting: The Reasons to Return to School

  1. Mike Singh says:


    You did a great job with the video! I teach elementary school and I often only think of my setting, high school and university when I think of school. Your video does a great job of shining a light on an Adult Education setting. The learners are diverse and have a variety of reasons that they attend. It seems like you work in a very supportive and positive environment that both teachers and students enjoy.


  2. emonks says:

    I’m sure it felt great making this video and seeing the end result. Excellent work Mel!

  3. Lisa Nevoral says:

    Hi Mel,

    What a great video to do for the CALC! Where did you find the time???? What I gathered from the students at CALC was that the staff and teachers were friendly and encouraging, and that they provided lots of help. As well, many students touched upon the fact that they could learn at their own pace and many were there because of their own individual interests or goals.

    Have a great holiday break,


  4. rahdube says:


    Impressive as always my friend. A couple of things caught my attention right away. Foremost, I enjoyed how the message was communicated visually and through text without any audible dialogue. It really solidified the concept of our movement from Orality to Literacy. Some powerful messages there and for me the one that stood out the most was the student who commented that computers help her connect with her grandchildren. I can see how/why this vid has blown up in your district. It can only lead to good things, I sure.

    Congrats Mel,
    Ryan D

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