As educators, we can often get consumed with our educational circles, curriculum, and learning communities. While all are important and play a vital role in how we grow and transform the learning process, it is imperative we not ignore the world around us.
As the economy continues to find ways to struggle, as political leaders continue to ignore common ground, and as countries across the world continue to climb past us in terms of education, work force, and economics - we as educators must not ignore the world around us.
It is imperative that our students understand what is going on in the world today. It is equally important that they understand why it is important. They must understand that decisions being made today have long term impacts on their financial futures and careers. They must understand that to pull our country back to the top, where it belongs, is going to require innovation, creativity, problem solving, team work, and sacrifice. (Sounds like a familiar skill set, huh?) It is all too easy for a high school student to be consumed with their world, but they must not ignore the world around them.
As teachers, it is imperative we understand the world and its impact. We need to see how our jobs as teachers are more than just preparing students for a test, but rather preparing them for life. A life that is going to be dependent on a highly skilled work force, and an economy that needs stability. We as teachers must know, understand and integrate the world around us.
As administrators, we must know and understand the political, financial, and socioeconomic world around us. We must be able to facilitate and lead discussions with our staff on how the local, regional, state, national, and global decisions impact the future of our students. It is imperative that administrators value the skill set that all students need to master in order to be competitive for jobs. It is imperative that administrators research, almost daily, the happenings in our country and world and ensure conversations and discussions are taking place in the classrooms. It is imperative that administrators not ignore the world around us.
So what happens if we ignore the world around us? We will continue to slide, as a country, and as a society. Jobs will continue to move off-shore. Our economy will continue to struggle and find solid footing. Decisions will be made at the highest of levels, that ignore the basic foundations and common-sense that made this country so great. I don't think any of us want to see a future for our children or grandchildren that isn't stable and doesn't provide many of the opportunities we have been afforded. This is why it is of the utmost importance...we not ignore the world around us.