Sunday morning, May 24th 2020. I am sitting by myself at my kitchen table thinking about the Class of 2020 and the future of education. Today, my youngest son Aiden will graduate from high school. I am feeling uneasy. Memories are flooding my thoughts of my children and their school experiences. My kids were spread out going to the high school I teach at for the last 12 years. I can remember the day when I brought my oldest son Landen to the high school for registration as a freshmen. One of my co-workers said…you are too young to have a kid in high school. Now it is over. 12 years and lots of memories.
I think part of my uneasiness today is I am playing the “what-if” game. All of the typical “what-if” questions we are all asking are dancing around my head about the COVID-19 virus and how it has impacted the world. I have always been a silver-lining guy and try to see the positive in situations. The athletic coach in me has created this mindset. Coaches are constantly trying to motivate their athletes through the ups and downs of an athletic season. Athletics and real-life have many parallels. Adversity is common place in both and you cannot hide from how you handle it. A persons true character is shown when adversity hits.
So you may be asking what silver linings can come out of this pandemic. There are many in my opinion, but I am going to focus on two. They both center on opportunity. The first one is educational opportunity. There were problems with education before this pandemic hit. My silver lining is that we have been given time to reflect and identify or re-identify some of these issues in our schools. We have an opportunity to make meaningful changes in the educational process. My wish is we take advantage of this and not be so inclined to go back “to the way it used to be.”
The second opportunity is for the Class of 2020. As teachers and coaches, we are always telling our students and athletes to take advantage of each opportunity you are given. I am hopeful that not only the Class of 2020, but all of us never take a opportunity for granted. Strive to be your best each day. This situation has taught us to expect the unexpected. Enjoy every moment with your friends and family. Do not have the mentality to “wait until next time.” Opportunity is all around us and hopefully we see each of them in a different light.
Farewell Class of 2020! Enjoy the new opportunities to come your way!