“The nation that has the schools has the future.”
That’s a fine quote, and more relevant now that it was in Bismark’s day. I might add that the nation that has the teachers has the future. The skills needed to teach in America’s largest and most advanced urban schools are the same as those needed to teach in the smallest schools in rural America.
Teaching, our most honorable and noble profession, is done by engaging and leading our learners into the joy of acquisition of knowledge. We live in a world that is very different than the time we were in school. Our best teachers share the excitement of discovery, and help our learners to connect their learning to their own lives through projects, activities, and collaboration with their fellow students. These are the skills that our learners need to understand and succeed in the world in which they will enter.
The investment we make in helping our children obtain knowledge and wisdom has a higher return than any other. It is the fuel of our nation’s growth and is essential not only for the well-being of our nation’s youth, but for the future prosperity of our country. Our children’s world will be very different. Half of their jobs may not have even been invented. The skills they will need – collaboration, creativity and a global mindset – are very different than the skills we learned in our youth.
In the world of tomorrow, anything is possible. Our children are so smart today. It’s not as much about helping them to understand our lessons as it is keeping them interested and engaged. In their interconnected world, they have access to any knowledge they desire. The job of the teacher, therefore, isn’t to deliver knowledge but to connect with and engage the student. One student at a time. Personally. Individually. To care and to make a difference in the life of every one. That is what’s possible. That’s the future. That’s the currency that will keep our nation great.
“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
— St. Francis of Assisi
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