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Lance Scranton: The future of our students

This week our local high school is serving our community by raising money for various charities and good causes with various dress-up days throughout the week to muster up some midwinter spirit. The week will culminate in Boy's and Girl's Basketball hosting Roaring Fork and a Sadie Hawkins dance. Monday had girls dressing from the past and boys dressing from the future. As I was trying to figure out what to wear, the future theme got me thinking.

Just what do you wear to represent the future? Seems like a difficult task, but I figured going with sunglasses would make sense because my future's so bright! If you remember this iconic 1986 song by Timbuk 3 then you know that the songwriter had a crazy teacher. Teachers spend most of their career preparing young people for a future that nobody really knows will involve and it is a bit of a crazy proposition!

Teaching is one of those professions that demands a little bit of craziness because we're always asked to do things that go well beyond the contractual expectations of classroom instruction. The more I thought about wearing shades the more it seemed to make sense because we hope every student that comes through our doors each day will be equipped to have a bright future.

Public education, and education in general, is taking it on the chin lately and much of it is due to the rapid pace of change in the labor force and the increasing footprint of technology on just about every aspect of our society. What children are expected to know when they graduate falls squarely on the shoulders of our educational system and results do matter. The future demands that we stay abreast of the skills that children need to have the future of their choice.

Teaching involves balancing the role of government in our schools, the responsibility of students, the support of parents, the community and the professionalism of educators. The future always looks bright when the scales are balanced in favor of learning but it all requires a little bit of faith and focus on the fact that in a free society, we can only do so much: we can offer the shades but students must be willing to take them, put them on and look out into the brightness and discover the opportunities that await.

Many of our graduates are doing great things and my hope is that more will be singing, "I love my classes, I got a crazy teacher, he wears dark glasses, things are going great, and they're only getting better, I'm doing all right, getting good grades, the future's so bright, I gotta wear shades." It's hope worth acting on because it's something we can all believe in and support.

Lance Scranton is a teacher and a coach at Moffat County High School.Lance Scranton is a teacher and a coach at Moffat County High School.Lance Scranton is a teacher and a coach at Moffat County High School.