Let’s start Sampson’s school year by offering teachers our support

Teachers are returning to public school classrooms across Sampson County Monday, with students to follow a week later, on Aug. 24.

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, offer its full support to educators and the plans they have to move our children forward, both academically and socially.

Unlike state lawmakers, who, by virtue of the budgets they adopt, have shown time and again how little respect they have for the jobs teachers do, our community has always rallied behind them. This year should be no different. While we cannot do much about their salaries, 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, their 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.

And it leaves teachers in a position they cannot escape — in a battle they often cannot win. 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. An educational support system must have parents and teachers on the same side.

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.

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.

The message needs to be one of support. This year, we hop 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 teeanger succeed, and they want to be a part of leading them to 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.