Take time to acknowledge teachers for all they
THE ISSUE: Another school year comes to a close. Teachers have had to do more with less funding, threats of gun violence, and lack of parental support.
OUR VIEW: Take time to thank those who teach our students and show respect for their profession.
CARLINVILLE (May 24, 2018) – With another school year coming to a close, it seems only appropriate that since 1984 the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) has designated one week in May as a special time to honor the men and women who lend their passion and skills to educating our children, our future. So if you happened to miss honoring a teacher from May 7-11, we recommend you rectify that soon. Why? There are many reasons but few can be as compelling as what teachers in our modern day time have to experience that their counterparts did not. Such as hearing legislators recommend arming teachers to protect their students from an armed intruder who thinks nothing of leveling a room full of young students, or teaching strictly to the testing mechanisms that will insure their students pass the Common Core curriculum.
Yes, teachers give freely of themselves, putting their heart and soul into their students for nearly a year’s time. It might be a boost of confidence for their students who really need it, or extra help when their students are struggling, or a welcoming presence when everything else seems out of control. Often times teachers provide the stable presence that some students are lacking due to the broken family unit. Many teachers also donate their own personal funds to supply needed items for their classroom or to make sure some students have basic necessities such as a book bag, a warm coat, or money for an educational field trip.
According to the National Education Association (NEA), teachers work more than 52 hours a week, 30 hours on instruction and 22 hours on tasks like preparing lessons and grading papers. Many also are expected to take charge of extracurricular activities. When families are engaged and partner with teachers, students attend school more regularly, earn better grades, enroll in higher level programs, have higher graduation rates, and are more likely to enroll in post-secondary education.
One prominent study found that students are 10 times more likely to improve in math and four times more likely to improve in reading than students who attend schools without effective family engagement. As the NEA observed, “Unlike other careers in which the same method can be applied time and time again, teaching requires an individualized approach as each student learns differently and has a different set of circumstances.”
We’re proud that in Illinois, representing our district, State Senator Andy Manar, has led the charge tirelessly for five years to achieve more equitable state funding. Manar’s actions go a long way to help students and their teachers and school districts have a better education funding model. The passage of such legislation equates to the classroom in real money where it is needed by our educators.
So how can one adequately begin to thank a teacher? The NEA reports that teachers love personal notes. How simple is that gesture, but what a profound meaning it has to illustrate how the teacher has made a difference in one’s life. They also appreciate respect as they state “many parents and politicians have no clue the endless amount of dedication and passion I pour into my career.”
Consider taking the time during these last few days of May or over the summer to thank a teacher for a job well done. The significance of the gesture will have a profound meaning to that person who daily gives of themselves to make a difference in the lives of their students. Here’s wishing our area teachers a restful summer break with gratitude for all they do.