There is a theory nicknamed the Butterfly Effect, or more scientifically and mathematically known as the Chaos Theory. Simply stated, it is the idea that small, seemingly imperceptible changes – such as the flapping of a butterfly’s wings, for example – could have a great impact on something else somewhere in the universe, sometime in the future.
Although it may seem small, one change could be the catalyst for something much larger, and there is no way to know what that effect might be, or when it might happen. There is no way to predict the future.
Much of what we do as educators, as administrators, as parents, and as citizens, we do without knowing for sure what impact we are having on the future. As educators, we are building relationships, engaging and educating our students for careers and lives of the future that we cannot even imagine in the present. As administrators, we are preparing our school district for changes that lie ahead. Although we can only imagine the near future, we are making changes that we know will have an impact for generations to come.
As parents, we prepare our children for lives as responsible adults, even though we don’t know what our children’s lives will be like decades from now. As learners, our students often ask, “Why do we need to do this? When will we ever need this?” We try to show them how their education will be applicable in the future, and the changes we are making to our instructional methods and to our curriculum help them to see the real-life applications of what they are learning today.
As educators, we know for certain that we are shaping the future every day, as we are the ones who educate the next group of architects, engineers, tradespeople, marketers, military heroes, public servants, medical professionals, problem solvers, entrepreneurs, inventors and creative geniuses.
In our Cranston Public Schools, we are making small changes and we are making big changes. Some changes seem imperceptible now, but all of which we know will have an impact on the future for our students for generations to come.
As we begin our yearlong countdown to the November 2020 bond vote, we ask for your support on Election Day and every day as we plan to continue our work in Cranston. We are making changes, both big and small, every day in order to have an effect on the future. Whether it is educating our students in classrooms and in buildings that are designed for the 21st-century and beyond, or teaching our students the 21st-century skills they need for success in their lives beyond high school graduation, we are making thoughtful decisions about our students’ educational experiences.
As supporters of our public schools, our educators and most importantly our learners, you too can make a positive difference with every seemingly small action you take. Thank you for your continued support as we work together towards a citywide vote of “yes” on the November 2020 ballot for the continued and ongoing improvements to our school buildings district-wide. We know that working together, we will be making a difference for generations to come.
Jeannine Nota-Masse is superintendent of Cranston Public Schools.