Education is one of the many areas of American life that has been completely dismantled in 2020 when COVID-19 shut down our counties and countries.

Doug Selwyn was a member of a group that met in Greenfield that summer to consider how the school would run in the fall.

“The state said, ‘You have three options and you have about seven minutes to decide what to do,'” he told me in a recent interview.

“After looking deeper, we had to consider all the relevant factors,” he explained.

“That’s all that goes on in children’s homes [and] When you think of an 8-year-old sitting in front of a computer five hours a day for food and medical care, inequality always makes some kids win and others don’t… what choices do schools make? affected by ”

Ultimately, we were faced with three impossible possibilities. Closing completely, holding schools ‘as usual’, and he adopting a hybrid model of the two. Despite the challenges the model presents to both students and teachers, they decide to go remote learning.

In the process, Selwyn recalled, they had to consider the greater function of education in the community. Although they were unable to formally examine the question of the role of education in society in the current crisis, they faced an “absolutely overwhelming interdependence between school and all aspects of life”. I was.

Selwyn has worked as an educator for over 30 years at all levels, elementary, middle school and college. His experience serving on the COVID-19 committee has led him to reach out to educators across the country and ask them to talk about their jobs and their hopes and dreams for America’s education.

The result is a new book, At the Center of All Possibilities: Transforming Education for Our Children’s Future (Peter Lang, 228 pages, paperback, $40.95). The book will go on sale locally on Monday, August 29th at 7pm at the Lava Center on Main Street in Greenfield.

For this book, Selwyn asked his fellow educators some basic questions. Some of his respondents he knew. Others, he didn’t. He outlines basic questions early in the book.

“Let young people live healthy and sustainable lives, and a healthy and prosperous society (and planet) for their children and grandchildren?” he writes.

“What do we value most, what do we want them to bring, and how can we help them learn it? What role do schools play in this process? and transform the current system into one that truly meets the needs of all children?”

He said that not all educators answered every question, but most brought valuable perspectives to the discussion. The book contains essays on teaching in different settings such as elementary school, high school, college, and even prison.

Contributors come across as the kind of teacher that every child (even every adult) would love to have. They offer attractive solutions for tailoring schooling not only to the needs but also to the lives of diverse people.

This book gave me hope, but there is so much more that all of us, educators as well as members of the community, need to do to make the education system work best for our children. I just realized something.

By sifting through submitted essays and dealing with contributors who ultimately failed to submit their essays because they were overwhelmed by the crisis at school, Selwyn weighed in on “the weight of what we put upon ourselves.” said to have faced teacher.

This book is designed, first and foremost, to inspire readers to seek better ways to build an education that takes into account the needs and experiences of students.

“At the center of all possibilities,” Selwyn said, was read by “educators and those in the teaching profession, families interested in supporting their communities, and policy makers within school districts or within local and state governments.” He said he hopes to be

“How do we serve our community? How do we serve our children? This is the biggest challenge,” he argued.

A night at the Lava Center should be informative yet informal. “I talk a little, read a little, and two of his contributors to the book talk about why they had that reaction,” he predicted, Selwyn. He added that the launch was recorded and the recording is available on the Lava Center’s website.

Those unable to attend but would like to purchase a copy of the book can do so from the Greenfield-based retailer Massive Bookshop ( Through publisher Peter Lang (; or through what Doug Selwyn calls “that Amazon place of his.”

Tinky Weisblatt is an award-winning author and singer. Her next book is Pot Luck: Random Acts of Cooking. Visit her website her

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