Teachers are returning to public school classrooms across Sampson County Monday, with students to follow a week later, on Aug. 28.
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 possibly offer to students.
It is our hope, as this new school year moves into full swing, that the community, whether parents or not, offers its full support to educators and the plans they have to move our children forward, both academically and socially.
Our community has always rallied behind educators, and this year should be no different. While we cannot do much about their salaries, which always seem to lag behind other states thanks to legislators who often just don’t get it, we can give them support in other meaningful ways, support that will help them accomplish the all-important tasks they are charged with — educating this community’s children.
While most respect teachers and do everything they can to be their advocates, there are still some who don’t see them as an ally. Instead they view them in adversarial roles. Unlike a decade or two ago, when a teacher’s assessment of a student gave parents’ pause, today you tend to see more parents siding with students first and listening last, no matter the circumstance.
Too often there are parents who take the approach that their child can do no wrong, that the teacher is out to get their youngster for some unfathomable 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.
That is a position that 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. And it leaves them in a position they cannot escape — in a battle they often cannot win. If teachers can’t communicate with parents, even if it’s about something they don’t want to hear, then the ultimate loser becomes the child.
And we all want children to succeed, don’t we?
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 every child, every middle-schooler and every teenager achieve their personal goals, 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.
It is our hope that the 2017-18 school year will be a tremendously successful one for students and the teachers who will be right there moving them forward.