Have you ever heard or said the phrases, "Why do I need to learn this?" or "When am I ever going to use this?"
Most of us have wondered this at least once or twice in our lives and we know that our students ask these questions all of the time.
Without concrete examples, it's difficult to know what skills, knowledge and practical applications our future selves will need to know and implement.
This is why we need to learn all of the basics we can while in school.
Over the past few weeks, the COVID-19 coronavirus has dominated the news across the world. Dr. Amy Acton, the director of the Ohio Department of Health, has shown us all why we need to learn all types of information because we never know when we will need it or when we will be called upon to use what we have learned to benefit the rest of the population.
Science -- Acton has explained the science behind the coronavirus, how it's contracted and how people working together can develop new ways to sterilize masks and help develop medicine and vaccines to prevent the spread of the virus. Understanding the science behind medicine helps us understand the explanations she shares daily.
Technology -- Listening to the advancements in technology needed to develop new testing methods and provide quicker remote-testing options to those exhibiting coronavirus symptoms is part of what we learn on a daily basis.
Working remotely is part of the 'new normal' these days, which requires some sort of electronic device and apps to use.
Math -- We see 'stop the curve' graphs and coronavirus 'peak' timelines that demonstrate how our stay-at-home plans are working to give scientists and medical personnel much-needed time to develop the tools needed to combat the virus when it spikes.
Based on the current numbers, models are created using various algorithms so our leaders can develop assumptions as to what will happen in Ohio.
Social studies -- We've learned about other countries and how they have implemented altered cultural practices and procedures to combat the coronavirus. The uniqueness of each country and its culture has an impact in how it works to decrease the spread of the virus. We've also seen all types of maps of the United States, showing how prevalent the number of cases are in different geographic areas and counties within Ohio.
History -- We've looked back in time at the spread of the Spanish flu, swine flu and H1N1 to see what has worked and what needs work. We need to look at what was done historically with the resources and knowledge available at that time vs. what is being done today with the resources and knowledge available now.
Language arts -- Watching Gov. Mike DeWine and Acton during the 2 p.m. briefings has shown that our words matter. Selecting the proper terminology to ensure people are informed but still have hope is an opportunity to use all of the language arts skills learned at an earlier age. Making sure information is explained in a manner that is understandable to everyone who hears it or reads it at a later date matters. As consumers of this information we need to be able to understand the nuances of their word choice.
Athletics -- DeWine used a sports analogy to explain the state's planning and implementation process -- It's like a baseball team in the middle of a 162-game schedule. You can be having a winning season, winning each day, but you have to repeat the process or refine it to win tomorrow.
You have to continually look at what you've done and what you need to do to keep winning.
Health -- Learning the value of proper handwashing, sneezing into a tissue or sleeve, getting enough sleep and practicing social distancing has helped to lessen the spread of the virus.
The list goes on with problem-solving, communications, resiliency and hope. All of what we're seeing and hearing shows us why school and lifelong learning are important.
Bill Wise is the superintendent of the South-Western City School District.