This will be my last blog for 2014, so I want to close the year by saying thank you to everyone who took time to read the articles. A year ago this month I set a goal to write and publish at least one blog/article per week. I wanted to write at least 52 articles that would get at least 1,500 views/readers by the end of 2014. To date, the weekly blogs have received 11,416 views and counting. I don’t know if this number is good for a blog, but it is so much more than I expected that it blows me away, but regardless of the number, I am honored and humbled by the readers who followed and shared my blogs throughout the year.
The topics varied from nonsense to serious issues, but whatever the topic, I did not shy away from stating my opinion. There were a few who took exception with my outlook, but many more voiced their support. I say thank you to both groups: Thank you to those who took exception with my views and caused me to slow down and look at things from a different perspective; and, a special thank you goes to those who supported me and gave me the encouragement and courage to keep writing. One thing I learned through this process is that the daily headlines are a great source for writing topics, but it takes a lot of work to go beyond the headlines to discover a new topic or angle week after week. Yet, my goal was not to just find a topic, but to create a piece that would make the reader think, smile, or stop and say, “What the hell?” If I failed to do any of those, I failed as a writer by leaving the reader indifferent. Hopefully that did not happen, but if it did, I apologize, and thank the readers who stuck with me.
Looking back over the 52 blogs, it is easy to see that at least half dealt with education. That is understandable since I spent 37 years in education as a teacher, coach, and administrator, but even more important I believe education is one of the most crucial issues facing Mississippi. So, I decided to visit the topic one more time for this last blog and share my Christmas Wish List for Mississippi Education. Of course, the greatest single thing that could happen for education would be for everyone to put their differences aside and work together for the common good of all children in Mississippi. Who knows, maybe Santa Clause has a miracle in his bag for 2015 – stranger things have happened.
My Christmas Wish List for Mississippi Education:
- ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS is for Mississippi legislators to make education a priority and fully fund education;
- ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS is for Obamaphobia to not get in the way of doing what is best for our children’s education;
- ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS is for state political leaders and educators to stop looking at each other as adversaries and begin working together for what is best for the education of our children. Of course, the only way that will happen is for state educators and state legislators to learn to trust and respect each other;
- ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS is for the Governor and Lieutenant Governor as well as all Mississippi Legislators to listen to state educators from the State Superintendent on down who have embraced Common Core Standards as what is best for our children. After all, the educators are the experts;
- ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS is for the Common Core naysayers to look at the standards before accepting everything negative they read on the Internet or hear through the grapevine as Common Core gospel;
- ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS is for our political leaders to put their political ambitions aside and do what is best for our children’s education;
- ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS is for Mississippi educators to present a united front and let their voices be heard loudly and clearly in support of what is academically best for children; and
- ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS is for all Mississippians regardless of their stand on Common Core Standards or any other education issue to put their politics and differences aside and have a joyous and Merry Christmas with their families and friends while remembering the birth of Christ as the reason for the season.
Merry Christmas to all who made this blog writing experiment a success in 2014, and may God bless each of you and your family during this joyous season!
©Jack Linton, December 17, 2014