Today marks the start of the 2020-2021 school year for Wayne Community Schools. One thing I can say for sure is that we are sending tomorrow’s leaders out into a whole new world this school year. As I was getting ready for the day, I had the local news on, mainly to see the weather forecast for the week. However, every other story was about the trials and tribulations, the arguments, the discontent, and the disagreements about opening public schools. Little did I realize that my second grader was watching intently and soaking up every word. He started asking questions about school and if we are doing the right thing. I truthfully answered him that I do not know if we are doing the right thing. Nonetheless, I felt comfortable sending him to school today knowing that he has been watching me conduct business for the last several months in a fog of alcohol sanitizer and Clorox bleach. He knows the protocols for protecting himself, and he knows the best practices to try to keep others safe. The icing on the cake was when four of his cousins all pulled up to the drop zone at the same time, and my heart sang a little bit to see them all masked up and walking in together to start this new adventure in life and learning.
Believe me when I say that I am confident our children will adapt to a new way of doing things. And, I am confident that the students you took photos of this morning with masks on and mini hand sanitizer bottles attached the straps of their overloaded book bags will be the driving force in years to come to solve first world problems such as pandemics, racial inequality, civil rights injustices, and many other forms of adversity. They are the engineers, the problem solvers, the counselors, the tradesmen and women, the scientists, the entrepreneurs, and the teachers who will take us all into a new era. We are building tomorrow’s leaders today. Our approach and our actions towards how we do so will be the greatest lesson they can ever learn.
Thank you to the teachers, administrators, and staff of Wayne Community Schools and all the surrounding area schools who are setting out on this great adventure today and in the coming days with our children. May you find strength, motivation, and determination in knowing that you are building the leaders of tomorrow. As we plod through this year of unknowns, I will leave you with this one final thought from Colleen Wilcox: “Teaching is the greatest act of optimism.”