It’s that time of year: Children and teachers are returning to the classrooms or another structured learning environment. This has truly been an eye-opening experience for me. Not being a parent, I have not had the opportunity to see the school environment from the other side of the table. This table definitely has four sides—students, teachers, parents, and administration—but, in the center of it all, there is the community at large.
The future of our city, state, and nation is the children we are educating. The passion each of the teachers featured in this issue has for providing an inspiring and wonderful learning environment was palpable in every interview, but the children’s tutelage should not rest solely on the shoulders of the parents or the education system. The community should take on the responsibility as a whole. We need to be there for the students who have the most opportunities, but especially for the ones who have far fewer prospects. If we want our city’s children to be held accountable and to be productive members of society when they are adults, then we need to hold ourselves accountable first.
R.J. Jenkins is one member of the community who believes in giving back through education, and Manal Fakhoury believes in setting a positive example. Brian Morey also enjoys teaching, but he prefers to educate his adult patrons about the history of wine. Finally, if you are looking for a daycare, Ashley Rozicki, a home daycare provider, offers tips on choosing and preparing for the transition to a new facility.
This issue has definitely inspired me to get more involved with the amazing non-profits in Ocala and to seek out ways I can help inspire the younger generations. I hope it has the same effect on you.