Hats off to teachers everywhere

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 4, 2003

Schools open Tuesday in Gates County and I can’t believe how quickly the summer vacation passed us by. I hope our

youth are ready for another school and are focused on what they need to do to make it a productive year for themselves.

Schools operate a little different than they did when I was younger and now with ABC’s and Standard Course of Study, teachers and students know exactly what they need to be doing from day one. The old days of just writing and reading are now being integrated with math and science and different types of teaching skills. Teachers are now finding themselves trying to be more creative than even during my days.


have always had to use their creative skills to maintain a productive classroom, but now things are more and more technical and difficult. I know if I had to make a decision at this time and date on becoming a teacher, I would definitely have to think twice.

Almost every kid when I was younger wanted to be a teacher. They were inspired by a educational professional and they knew that they wanted to do exactly what Ms. Or Mr. So-And-So was doing. Today, there is a shortage of teachers across the nation and we have to wonder why.

Personally, I think that the job of teaching has been taken out of the hands of the teacher these days and that may be one of the things that has sparked a decline in the number of professionals. There is no room for some of the activities I did as a student in grade school anymore because the state dictates what is being taught

and how quickly these children should learn it.

The job of teacher has also changed in that now so much more paperwork is required from these professionals. It’s not enough to prepare your lesson plan for the day or month, but now the teacher is often left with the responsibility of doing so much paperwork that only sits on a desk or in file cabinets.

Another job of the teacher seems to be disciplinarian. Yes, our teachers when I was younger took on the job of disciplining the classroom and keeping everything under control, but now teachers are being faced with hostile youth who tell them what they will and will not do. You have children entering school not prepared but with attitudes the size of planets and you have to try and maintain a classroom with a kid in there who is only being disruptive.

I guess the job of being a teacher has changed and it’s not enough to teach the recommended subject matter, but you have to be a doctor, lawyer, parent, teacher, minister, counselor, psychologist and friend. Too often a teacher now don’t have the chance to develop the relationships they had when I was younger. It’s all they can do to get to a classroom – if one is available – and provide a student with the knowledge they need to pass a test.

There is a little too much emphasis put on testing and so many of our students – who are good students – are left by the wayside because they can’t score a certain level on a test. There are a lot of doctors, lawyers, judges, astronauts and maybe a few presidents out there who didn’t’ score good on test, but they did not make them any less intelligent.

I’ve said all these things to make a point of how blessed we had to have some real good educational professionals still out there – who are really concerned about the total well-being of our youth.

It’s more than just coming to work everyday and accepting your check at the end of the month. The old saying &uot; a mind is a terrible thing to waste&uot; is indeed a true statement and I’m glad that someone took the time with me and others like me to give that extra hand up.

I’ve said it before and I will repeat it from the highest mountain. A &uot;real&uot; teacher – a person who has given and continues to give unselfishly is a rare breed and should be appreciated and recognized. I’ve had some of these in my life and can only hope that my nieces and nephews will be graced with some as well.

My hats are off to all you professionals who give and I’m wishing each of you a successful and productive 2003-04 school year.