Some of the very bad news for me in this pandemic is the fact that the schools are virtual only and I do not have the ability to be in the classroom. If there is good news, it is that I have more time for reading, contemplation, and problem-solving. Within that time spent, I have had the good fortune to read Tom Brokaw’s book, The Time of Our Lives. Mr. Brokaw dedicates a substantial amount of focus on the subject of education.

Educator is the title I wear with a vast amount of pride. Because I have as many opportunities as I choose to be in a classroom, I consider it a personal privilege and deadly serious responsibility. At the end of each day of teaching, I think about what went well and what didn’t, with an eye toward maximizing my effectiveness and the corresponding impacts on my students.

Mr. Brokaw goes into elaborate detail about the importance of education and I am gratified to discover that he considers it to be our country’s priority. He talks about a number of dedicated businessmen and women, as well as members of the general public who have stepped up to make major changes in the ways in which education is delivered where it is needed most.

Reading this makes me very happy about the outcomes that have been identified. At the same time, I wish that I had the resources to make the types and sizes of improvements that others have completed. In order for that to make sense, I must remain grateful for the chances that I have, with an eye toward maximizing my contributions.

All of us have the ability to improve the quality of education we deliver to our students. If there are bond initiatives to fund local school districts, it is our priority to support them. If there are places to donate books for students who might otherwise not have access to them, it is crucial to donate. Read to your kids, every day, whenever possible. Be generalized in the subject matter, from science to history, to math, to writing, to literature. Buying books as gifts is a thoughtful, constructive act. From my perspective, minutes reading a book rather than playing video games are vastly more worthwhile.

For as long as I have the physical strength to stand in front of a classroom and assist my students in identifying and realizing their potentials, I will continue to do so. Unfortunately, I don’t expect that my future will include the financial ability to make progress in communities or cities. But I remind myself that this situation is similar to many others. The size of the problem should only increase our energies directed toward solving it. Shalom.

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