Is education too costly? Can we do more with less? Is our economy able to compete? Americans are concerned about outsourcing expertise, products, and commodities. The health and well being of our children at home and in the educational system is the underpinning of our nation’s success. As John F. Kennedy said in his address to the nation –
“Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource.”
How are our schools supporting the goal to keep our children, our resources, healthy, educated, and nurtured? As a public school teacher I am privileged to say that I participate in this goal daily. I enjoy a passion for what I do each day. I know when I come to work, I am participating in the possibilities of affecting change in a child’s life. I know that I get every child – all of them. Unlike that special candy bar or best chair in the house, no parent or guardian is keeping the “favorite” child at home on reserve to savor or play with. Every child is sent to school, no matter what flavor or unique styles that child has. I get all of them – the best, the brightest, the most creative, the most challenged, every child who comes to school every day just to be. I relish this responsibility and am humbled by your trust and care for my actions. I am a part of the progress of our nation through education.
As I travel through our school, taking a glimpse into each classroom, there a sensory overload of adventure and activity occurring. Groups of students are sprawled on the floor pouring out their knowledge on a poster of comparisons. The Smart Board is loaded with mathematical concepts in film clips and colorful photographs. A teacher is demonstrating the magic of matter as it changes form “before your very eyes.” Flash cards are flying, sticky notes are fluttering, and pages of books are quietly turning as the next episode about Percy is revealed.
If you have not walked down a public school hallway in the past several years, please make an appearance. Please come and walk the halls with your grandchild, acquaintance, or cousin. It is an amazing journey to follow. Kindergarten is in the midst of tree studies making self portraits out of fall findings. Fifth grade is experimenting with cloud formation, food digestion, life cycles, and the physics of motion. Art is studying Picasso. Third grade is blasting into the planets and beyond our own blue earth. Music is swinging to original compositions by our music teacher. Second grade is keeping track of time with Smart Board activities. Sixth grade is hosting service projects and graphing their results. These are just a few of the exciting, authentic educational activities happening daily at our public school. You will be impressed with the energy and passion exhibited in each classroom as our teachers impart knowledge and facilitate each child’s learning process.
I ask you to consider Herbert Hoover’s phrase that our children are our most precious natural resource. How can we encourage their development, provide nourishment, and spark intellectual curiosity that will guarantee their future success from home to global participation? We can and need to do this by supporting schools in many ways. I encourage you to come be a reading buddy for a special K – 6th grade child. Purchase PTA fund raising items. Share your career expertise with the middle school students, exposing them to job possibilities never considered before. Enable high school students to intern at your job site by modeling career options and dependability. Shared passions keep communications open and flexibility in career options. Support funding needs for diverse teacher training and facility improvements. I thank you for your continued support. I thank you for your tax dollars and contributions that enable public education to prepare the future leaders of our country. Our children are our most precious natural resource whose successes will benefit the future quality of our lives.