The Arizona K12 Center’s Executive Director, Dr. Kathy Wiebke, offers her education insights in this monthly column. With the recent spree of gun violence, I’ve found it hard to be optimistic about anything lately. Then, I open my Facebook feed and I see these faces.[gallery ids="3961,3962,3964"] MAug 07, 2019
The Arizona K12 Center’s Executive Director, Dr. Kathy Wiebke, offers her education insights in this monthly column.
With the recent spree of gun violence, I’ve found it hard to be optimistic about anything lately. Then, I open my Facebook feed and I see these faces.
Meet the class of 2032.
I look at these bright and confident faces, and wonder what their future holds. There is so much potential, so much promise in these faces. And I have no doubt that when their parents, like parents across the nation, took them to school today, their No. 1 concern was not what they would learn, or the friends they would make. Rather, it was their physical safety. This is our current situation, but this is not how things should be.
These kids are our tomorrow. I wonder, what will they discover or create? What big audacious problem will they solve? Who amongst them will write a beautiful piano concerto? Discover the cure for cancer? Be part of a team that finds solutions to our climate crisis?
There are big problems facing our state, country, and world. We need smart, talented, and innovative thinkers to solve them, and it all starts now in our classrooms. To face the problems ahead of us, we need to come together in support of our public schools. The education of these children and millions more depend on the collective efforts of all of us. We need to ensure that we properly fund our schools so that our children have access to incredible learning opportunities and the supports necessary for them to thrive.
Most importantly, we need to find ways to support the teachers and educational professionals who work inside our schools. They need access to quality professional learning that moves their practice forward, to professional support for their well-being and that of their students, and to the tools and resources needed to get the job done — without having to resort to Donors Choose.
Times have certainly changed since I was a classroom teacher. I struggle to understand how teachers educate these young people, our promise of tomorrow, in the shadow of hate and violence. What I do know is these kids — all kids — deserve our best. They deserve safe and vibrant learning spaces that celebrate who they are and what they bring to this world.