Always appreciate teachers

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, May 4, 2016

This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week.
While I’m glad this type of event exists, we should appreciate teachers every week of the school year.
As a former teacher, I am familiar with some of the hurdles teachers overcome for the benefit of their students.
There are late nights spent composing lesson plans, art projects, grading papers, planning field trips and much more.
However, in this day and age, many teachers, I find, are being held responsible for much more than curriculum.
Some parents seem to want to blame the teacher as they reason why their child isn’t learning. I really find that hard to accept in the majority of cases.
When I was growing up, my parents always inquired as to how much homework I had and if I needed any help. They were active participants in my education, which spurred me to not only succeed, but over-achieve as well.
It also helped that I had great teachers, but I believe a strong parental support system is one key factor to a child’s success in school.
In my experience, I realized that not all children learn at the same pace, which is fine. It just takes a bit more patience and one-on-one time. Sometimes, in a room full of children, it’s difficult to give that one child the extra attention they deserve. But I’ve seen it done.
However, that’s where I think parents should help as well. My sister always needed an extra push when it came to homework and going to school. In one instance, a doctor diagnosed her with “schoolitis.”
But, she graduated from high school and the Mississippi University for Women with a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts.
Even though she didn’t have as strong a desire to attend school as I did, she still earned her degree.
I know for a fact that my parents played an important role in my education. They didn’t push too hard or scold me when I didn’t get an A, but rather told me to work harder. When I expected to win an award and didn’t, they told me not to lose hope and that not everyone can be first, second or third.
Our parents are our first and lifelong teachers. They teach us how to walk, talk, eat and several of life’s other lessons.
I urge parents not to forget that. This world is a busy one, but a child’s education and future is important and should be put on the front burner.
Teachers play a very important part in that, but parents should always be mindful that their role is even more vital. Children need encouragement from their parents.
I would like to thank the educators of this county. Many times, I’ve interrupted their class time to interview them for a story or take a picture. More importantly, thank you for educating the future leaders, business owners and workforce of Pearl River County.

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