Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Times, They are A-Changing

I am very worried about the economic state of the country right now.  The concern is both personal and professional.  On a personal note, I now have probably one third of my closest friends (that includes one sibling) who have been let go recently and/or cannot find work.  What is going to happen to them and their families?  How long can the live off of the reserves they have in the bank - if any?  I am concerned because I have never seen so many people each day worry about whether they will be employed the next.

Professionally, I worry about the impact of the economy on education.  Teachers, teaching assistants, clerical staff, and even administrators are being let go because districts cannot afford to pay everyone.  What will this do to our children?  Will we be able to give our children the education they are entitled to in an environment conducive to learning?  How many students will be left behind and in need of academic intervention services because we cannot afford to give them the proper education in the first place?  Will we be able to teach them 21st century literacy skills to compete in a global economy?  What will this do to the drop-out rate?  I cannot fathom the answers to these questions.  

In half an hour, our district has an emergency faculty meeting to discuss this.  I am curious to hear what our superintendent has to say about all of this, and how our district will handle this difficult economic period. 

I am frightened for what feels like an impending crash of the our entire economic system and how my family will have to handle it.  I know we will have to live more modestly, help others when we can, and be just a little kinder than necessary to put smiles on otherwise worried faces.  This is Tikun Olam.  

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