An education writer's work is never done.
Even at night, when the Deseret News supposedly has no claim on my time, I often find my thoughts rotating around current debates and issues related to the work I was involved in during the day.Those few blessed moments just before sleep takes over are, in fact, marvelous. In a semi-somnolent state, I'm able to solve all the world's insoluble problems and drape all my ideals in reality.
In that ethereal realm, all my children and grandchildren are forever beautiful, young and untroubled by the stresses of modern living. My pocketbook struggles mere piffle. The demands of juggling family, job and just-living interests entirely manageable and even pleasurable.
In that misty, mythical world between awake and asleep, education problems disappear and the perfect system unfolds to my view - a system in which:
- Every student receives the education he or she needs to live successfully ever after. Utah's dream of a schooling experience tailored to each individual child comes true. The system becomes a humane, perfectly understanding and nurturing environment in which potential blooms, instead of an unfeeling institution hidebound by rules and regimentation.
- Every parent is supportive, loving and caring. No child leaves home without nourishment to body, mind and spirit. In not one single dwelling is there apathy, indifference or, worse, resistance to a child's learning. No child is abused. Not one comes to school hungry, in turmoil, bruised in body or emotions.
- Every student gratefully absorbs the perfect education provided. Each comes to the classroom with a healthy self-image, excited about the world and eager to learn. Not one is unmotivated, confused about his role in life or resistant. Not one is lost in the morass of drugs, promiscuity, crime or debilitating indifference to his own value.
- Every teacher is inspiring, progressive and continually renewing the dedication and excitement that led him or her into the field in the first place. No one burns out in this best of all worlds because the returns - the constant recognition of success in one's students - are too great. The best and brightest college students hustle off to education training because teaching is recognized and valued for its vital role in making the world a livable place. Teachers are recognized and rewarded as professionals and trusted partners in the world's most important work.
- The public perception of education is one of support and appreciation. Taxpayers unstintingly provide the necessary means for building and maintaining schools and paying school personnel fair salaries. Government leaders recognize the public good to be attained through education and act accordingly. All parents are involved in the educational process and volunteers from all segments of society contribute to the school effort. There is room within this perfect system for innovation, experimentation and differentiation in a constant search for what works best for a diverse student population.
Ah, yes. It is indeed a wonderful world.
But only in my pre-dream dreams.