Today I want to discuss the importance of teachers. Specifically, I will discuss the importance of teachers in a public school setting. If you were to believe most politicians and the majority of the media outlets, you would believe that public school teachers are incredibly selfish individuals who don’t like children, spend all of their “free time’ commiserating with each other about how to spend all of their money they earn and planning for a “fat cat” retirement. (Never mind that teachers earn 14% less as a public employee than they would in the private sector) That is the myth, let’s talk reality. In my 20 years experience in public schools, the vast, vast majority of teachers care deeply about their students and sacrifice mightily to help their “kids” as much as possible. Teachers also make connections with (and act as role models for) students. Let me give you a personal example.
My youngest son went to an Easter egg hunt on Saturday and won a silver dollar. The first words out of his mouth after he told us he had won were “I am going to tell Mrs. Peterson she… will be excited.” Mrs. Peterson is his kindergarten teacher. Mrs. Peterson has made a connection with my son that has helped him academically and socially. She has taken time out her busy day to help him with some coping skills; worked with my wife and I on a plan to have consistency to help him with coping skills; she has taken his academics farther than we thought possible; and most importantly, she has become his greatest “cheerleader” to let him (and his parents) know that he is a wonderful little boy. What more could you want from a teacher? As wonderful as Mrs. Peterson is for our son, most teachers in our school system act in similar ways. My wife was waiting in the elementary hallway for a teacher conference a few weeks ago and she told me that she had a wonderful sense of caring from the staff for all of the children. As she listened to teachers talk to parents about their children she sensed how passionate the teachers were for their jobs and how they wanted to help all children. We feel very lucky that our children are in a system where the adults care deeply about all children.
Now you will not hear these types of stories from politicians and the media because they do not fit the narrative of the greedy teacher. That is too bad because the truth is far different from what they want to portray. I am here to tell you that RASD has teachers that care deeply about kids and will work hard to help your child.