A Letter from Adam Yale, Westside Community Schools Board of Education President
In a matter of weeks, Nebraskans have seen their day-to-day lives turned upside down. It has been confusing, frightening and tense, as we have had to adjust to a new, and ever-changing, reality. Our country and our state have faced harrowing challenges before, and we have always risen to the occasion and surmounted those challenges with resourcefulness, resolve and unity. This situation is no different, and we will emerge from it wiser and stronger.
As a board member for the Westside Board of Education, I have had the privilege to see K‑12 educators all over Nebraska not only through the prism of education, but also as a parent, a taxpayer and a community member at-large.
Even though school is out of physical session, I am proud to say that your children are in able hands. Remote learning has not been without complications, but the hard work, ingenuity and care that your children’s educators have put into it is, quite simply, amazing.
This is no small feat. There are few industries, where the go-to-market strategy changes, literally overnight, and a quality product is ready for delivery in days. This has been the case in Nebraska’s public schools. It has been an ongoing demonstration of Nebraska’s values on display: rationalism, unflappable fortitude and teamwork.
Make sure to thank an educator for maintaining a semblance of normalcy in our children’s lives.
— Adam Yale
Teaching is a person-to-student enterprise, and for all of technology’s promise, it has noted shortcomings. Even so, it’s been inspiring to see teachers “being there” for their students, providing relevant assignments, reading to their classes on a group video chat, emailing back and forth to solve math problems and even providing socio-emotional learning and support through one-on-one phone calls or video chats.
Our educators have been there to provide for families’ physical needs as well. I would not be surprised if our school districts distributed 100,000 meals (or more) in two weeks. Our schools are also keeping staff meaningfully employed and finding ways to help our community distribute a little extra aid to those who need it most. We are grateful for this stability in uncertain times.
Finally, while we have 244 unique public school districts in this state and many private K‑12 educators, and the competition to be the best is fierce, our K‑12 educators understand that we are all on the same team. This period has reinforced our teamwork, with districts having leaned on one another to solve problems, find best practices and relate successes and challenges. No one of us could do our best for students and their families without all of us.
The support and flexibility of students, families and communities at large has been critical. We are grateful for the many, many ways you have offered encouragement, assistance and your valuable resources. You have done this in good times and bad. The educational equation does not balance if mutual support is not present, so thank you for what you have done, are doing and will do for K‑12 education going forward.
As we tackle whatever the universe is going to throw at us in the coming weeks, you can count on educators to heed the call. Make sure to thank an educator for maintaining a semblance of normalcy in our children’s lives. Together, we are burnishing the Nebraska Way in the best and worst of times.