Thursday, January 10, 2013

A New Hope

from wikipedia.com

I am a big fan of the Star Wars movies and have had a love affair with the intergalactic stories since I was a small child. Recently, I was watching for the _(fill in huge number)_millionth time, EpisodeIV: A New Hope. For the three people on the planet that have not seen this movie, it is essentially a story of the Jedi (good guys) gaining power and opposing the Empire (bad guys) with a plethora of light sabers and blasters. In the title, A New Hope, it is apparent that the people of the galaxy will finally have hope against the oppressive Empire.

Lately, I have been watching, reading and following numerous conversations and discussions about the state of public education in our country. There is sadly, a great deal of negativity and anger in these discussions and interactions. I have to admit I have taken part in some of these and vented my frustration and disappointment at some of the circumstances public education has found itself in. Many of these discussions end with finger pointing at the bad students, bad teachers or bad parents. Let’s be honest, there is no shortage of things to complain about or things to point at.

However, with all that, I see hope in many places and I fear too many of us are looking past them.

Yes, kids are hurting other kids and causing physical and emotional harm. There appears to be little empathy and compassion left in our schools. Yet, I sit in a classroom right now with a handful of 6th grade boys who all shaved their heads. Why? They are showing support for a classmate who was recently diagnosed with cancer. Is that not empathy and compassion?  I also recently came across this short video that fills me with hope for the future of our country and in humanity. Clearly there are good students out there that want to make a positive difference in their communities.

 

There are also a lot of negative feelings towards parents of our nation’s kids and how they are parenting. I myself have sat and wondered how some parents could do some of the things they have done to their children or to kids in general. However, my good friend Jeremy Macdonald sent me the video below that literally brought me to tears and filled me with hope. There are incredibly selfless parents and teachers out there that inspire me and this man is but one of them.




The amount of negativity in the world is almost overwhelming at times. The Empire will not win and the Jedi will return! Or at least, the good people in our world will continue to do good, inspire others and bring us hope. What are you doing or seeing that fills you with hope for our future in education and in humanity. Please share!
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