Monday marks the beginning of American Education Week. This is a week that focuses attention on the importance of educating our kids, who are the next generation and the future of our democracy. Some people think education is as simple as explaining a subject to a child, but it is more than that. Teachers need to master their subject area, understand child development, and know how to teach. To really be successful, they must get to know their students and form personal, trusting relationships. Sometimes reaching a kid takes toughness. Sometimes the child needs tenderness. And, sometimes an educator doesn’t know until years later that they had just the right balance for a particular student  we observe American Education Week to remind ourselves that preparing kids to graduate ready for college and careers is a community effort that takes time, takes money, and takes the passion of educators who devote their lives to teaching kids. Support your local schools. They are building the future.