When I turn on the radio or read news articles about the state of the world it’s difficult to tune out the often non-sensical tones of the language that seeps between words. With the U. S. Presidential election nearing, I’ve become pretty savvy about sorting through the undercurrent of abusive communication between those in power or/and those who crave the same. My concern is with the readers and listeners who lack the want or need to seek truths because the reality is that some of them will actually vote.
So yesterday, just when I was about to sink into a depressed phase based around the gloom and doom of the state of the world, something wonderful happened that kicked me back into real truths that matter. I was surrounded by an amazing bunch of teenagers.
These past few days has been back to school week for many kids around the United States; for some this meant frantically speed reading through summer book lists, saying goodbye to sand, surf, trunks and summer loves, while for others it meant their summer jobs were over and the realization that college applications were fast approaching. The wonder of their youth is nearing the reality of adulthood.
I’ve worked in education for fifteen years with a variety of students, as a home schooling mother, a volunteer teacher in the housing projects of Los Angeles, and in the private school sector. The teachers I know are all passionate about education; we care deeply about having an educated society and believe in the fundamental truth that all children are created equal.
The best thing about beginning a new school year is that everything is fresh, from textbooks to freshman and a few new teachers – it’s exciting - a contagious feeling. Yesterday as kids were talking about what they’d done over summer, student leaders were helping new students navigate their way around campus – I was in awe of the leadership skills these young teenagers showed. They could interact with their peers and parents through intelligent communication and knowledgeable rhetoric.
We hear so much negativity about teens and yes, I know that there are kids in communities making unhealthy and often dangerous choices, but for now I’m focusing on the positive attributes of this generation. These kids are smart; they are multi-talented, multi-faceted, many are multi-lingual, they are compassionate and they are fragile.
My hope is that these kids will appreciate the importance of their education and continue either onto college, trade school or become entrepreneurs, but more importantly that they do what makes them happy and help others along the way. May they graduate high school with the skills they’ll need to navigate through the truths and lies that will be thrown at them daily, for the world needs people to vote with rational thinking.
Meanwhile, this teacher had better stop procrastinating as she still has one chapter of her all-school summer reading to complete… ©
Mandy Jackson-Beverly was educated in Tasmania and now resides in California