Give teachers the respect they deserve
Teachers are returning to public school classrooms across Sampson County this week, with students to follow a week later, on Aug. 26.
Actually educators have been in and out of their respective schools for several weeks now, some working to create vibrant rooms and develop innovative lessons, others to attend workshops and training exercises, all in preparation for the best school year they can possible offer to students .
It is our hope, as this new school year moves into full swing, that the community, whether parents or not, offer their full support to educators and the plans they have to move our children forward, both academically and socially.
Unlike state lawmakers, who’ve shown little or no respect for the jobs teachers do in this year’s state budget, the community can rally behind them. While we cannot do much about their salaries, we can give them the support they need to accomplish their all-important jobs — educating this community’s children.
Many in the community do that already, but there are some who don’t. Unlike a decade or two ago, when a teacher’s assessment of a student gave parents’ pause, today you tend to see parents siding with students first, listening last, no matter the circumstance.
Too often parents take the approach that their child can do no wrong, that the teacher is out to get their youngster for some uncertain reason and is surely wrong in their assessment of a child’s problem. There’s little doubt that their youngster, though perhaps a petulant child at home, is a little angel in the halls of academia.
And it leaves teachers in a position they cannot escape, in a battle they often cannot win. And if teachers can’t communicate with parents willing to listen, even if it’s something they don’t want to hear, then the ultimate loser becomes the child.
Teachers don’t always get the respect they deserve in today’s society, nor the support that surely must come in order for students to achieve the successes we all want and expect.
Teachers, too, have fallen into a tug-of-war position between parents and children, and parents, oftentimes consumed with guilt for their own inattentiveness toward their children, feel the need to side with them against the big, bad educator.
What parents need to understand is that position doesn’t help their child in any way, certainly not in the educational realm. And it teaches them only that it’s OK to point a finger of blame at someone else, even if they should be accepting the responsibility for their action.
What’s more it sends the wrong message to teachers.
The message needs to be one of support.
This year, we hope that’s the message teachers receive.
We are fortunate in Sampson County to have educators who genuinely care about those in their classrooms. They are men and women who want to see each child, each middle-schooler and each teenager succeed, and they want to be a part of leading them to that success.
We should allow them to do just that, and we should applaud their efforts, back them up in their quest and teach our children to be respectful of the men and women who truly are in it for them.
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