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Education Blogger: Study Today; You might not be able to tomorrow


I’m fortunate. I get to learn new things every day. Do you? You should. If you’re an American, you should take advantage of the opportunities to learn that present themselves every day.


I have worked with many kids during my various careers. I’ve been frustrated when students didn’t want to learn. Before Christmas, I subbed in a classroom that was studying Russia. I try to get kids to connect to places and people in the material they’re studying.


Since it was near Christmas, I asked the students if they knew of TSO. I got some yesses, phew. I asked them what TSO stood for. There was one very tentative, “Trans-Siberian Orchestra.” I gave the student an “Awesome!” and asked where Siberia was? This time, there was silence.


I asked them to look at the maps they had. Quickly a student noted that Siberia was part of Russia. I then asked about TSO’s music. A student knew about “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo.” In fact, we listened to part of it.


I asked what they knew of the songs that made up the TSO hit. Again, it grew quiet. I asked them if they knew about “Carol of the Bells?” A couple students sang a line or two. I asked them if they knew it by any other name. Crickets. I told them, when I first heard it, it was called “The Ukrainian Bell Carol.”


Which of course led me to ask them about Ukraine. Once again, we returned to our maps. I hope those students remember our discussion as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine changes our world.


Last week, I subbed in a school on a military post. These were middle school students as were the others. The most recent students didn’t know much about Ukraine either. But their interest was piqued because they had parents who might be sent there.


I don’t want their parents to be put in dangerous positions, but I do wish they wanted to learn more before bad events happened.


I also worry about the students in Ukraine. Studying seems unlikely in subway stations used as bomb shelters. It also seems unlikely in Poland where they may have to live as refugees.


I wish I had answers to the world’s problems. I do know education matters. I also know that many of the people in Ukraine are Christian, so tonight I pray. I hope you do too.


Tomorrow, learn something new and use it to make the world better.

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