After the dawn of a new year, and the beginning of the second term of America’s first African-American President, it is time to move forward. Hopefully, one pondered and analyzed what one accomplished in the past few years and so, you are ready to move ahead. I am ready. The possibilities excite me. Perhaps I have a new-found optimism among the heavy issues we have faced in the past few years. Suddenly, I believe all children will have a great opportunity to get a first-class education and that all things are possible.
So what are my dreams for this world where anything is possible?
I see a world where all children are safe. One in which their dreams can come true. I am not denying that hard work, perseverance and creativity must happen. In addition, I see that we as a society must not only protect our children from harm, but also foster their abilities and help them to discover the innate talents that all children have. In my small contribution to this great accomplishment, I aim to bring opportunities to children, all children, where they can discover talents and moments in time that change their world. Note I said change their world not change the world. I do believe these opportunities may change the world, but most important is to change the world and perspective of students who may not have other chances to experience.
So how, you ask? How do we ensure a great education for all? How do we train all of our teachers and give them the support needed to have patience and stay motivated when times get hard? How do we reframe our infrastructure, develop clean energy and assure health and wellness for all? As an individual citizen you must speak — not be disinterested or say that you believe it doesn’t matter. Each small piece of this puzzle does matter. Find what you can do and do it.
For me, it means to continue down the path of high quality education for all. My mission is adding the arts for a more comprehensive understanding of difficult concepts and engage students who might otherwise be not engaged. For me, it is not to continue to analyze why we include the arts. The arts are valid on their own to anyone’s education and experience. We do need to stop treating them as fluff and realize students connect through tangible and practical knowledge. We need to stop worrying about memorizing content and offer the chance to understand concepts by using them in experiential activities.
I have lived it and experienced it. Not every student wants to make things, but there are other opportunities for these students to design, create and develop their abilities. Some are researchers, some are designers. Right and left brain function together. All students must collaborate and communicate. Creativity and innovation will be the outcome. We will move forward. Life will never be ideal or perfect, but if we raise the bar, things will get better. Do something today to make one person’s life better, even if it is only for a minute. This great country has the opportunity to move forward. I do believe we are a nation of makers and it is time to make.
“We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity.” (President Barack Obama Inauguration January 21, 2013)