Here we are on the threshold of a new year. For many of us this is a time of reflection on days gone by and moments to remember. It is also a time of great anticipation as we forge ahead into another year.
The new year may boast of new cancer treatments and potential cures for various diseases. High fuel prices and a rise in the cost of food likely will continue into 2008. Also on the agenda for 2008 will be the presidential elections, the local economy and housing market, along with the future of schools.
In our schools, our teachers pass along facts and figures, often based on history and current events. But now we've asked a few local teachers to look into the future and see what 2008 will bring.
Amy Kropp, a local high school government and economics teacher, said the election of 2008 may lose its luster by the time the voting actually occurs.
"The debates and coverage for the election started so early _ many people may get tired of the coverage and eventually lose interest," she said.
Whatever the outcome, the new president will have a full agenda when he or she takes office.
Moving from the White House to the house down the street, Kropp also commented on the future of the housing market. "I feel there may be a freeze on interest hikes that could last for the next five years or so _ which in turn will boost the housing market." As the housing market begins to boom, more people will be drawn to rural areas, creating a boost in local economies and benefiting everyone, she said.
Maureen Pawlikowski, a teacher at Unatego Central School, kept her predictions to the education field. "There are more rigorous expectations from the state regarding public schools," Pawlikowski said. "I think that the average class size will continue to increase, budgets will shrink and there will be more state tests for the students. This is a trend that I have seen in my years of teaching."
Also commenting on the outlook of education was Judi Visnosky, a teacher at Valleyview Elementary in Oneonta.
"I think that in 2008, children will begin to know the importance of reading as a lifelong practice _ that their families will catch on to this vision and model good reading practices _ thus, making a community of readers with a whole new world being opened up to them."
Only time will tell if our teachers' predictions will become reality. But one thing is for sure, our teachers will continue to influence the future _ our students _ every day.