It's Time To Meet "Your Kids"
Back to School! It’s a phrase which seems to be almost everywhere this time of year. It’s in stores, on TV, on Facebook and Twitter. It’s definitely THAT time of year. It’s time to get out of the summer routine and get back on the school’s schedule. For students it’s time to buy school clothes and supplies. It’s the time for them to wonder what their new teacher(s) will be like. It’s the time they worry about which of their friends will be in the same classes.
For teachers and support professionals, it’s also a time to buy new school clothes and supplies for their room and to wonder what their students will be like. Most importantly it’s the time to meet “your kids.”
Oh, what powerful words for educators – “my kids!” When you say "my kids," it has a meaning only those of us in education understand. Our students become ours, not because we HAVE to educate them, but because we WANT to educate them. You are beginning a new school year where you will invest your time, effort and thoughts into making “your kids” better.
Of course, you want to be a part of educating them so they will be productive citizens, but there is so much more to teaching. “Your kids” will be children with faces, names and personalities. For this special year, you will be the key to helping them achieve all their hopes and dreams. Yes, you will teach all the things that are required, but you will do so much more. You will leave your fingerprints on the future because you are molding future citizens one student at a time.
For “your kids,” you have a back-to-school supply list, but you also have a wish list for the new school year. At the top of that list is a wish for small class sizes for them. When you think of “your kids,” you know that they don’t reach their full potential when they are in an overcrowded classroom. They should be in a class which is small enough to allow meaningful interaction with their classmates and to have their thoughts heard. As their teacher, you want to know their strengths and build on them. You want to know their weakness and help them overcome them. Small classes allow the one-on-one time to do this.
Also very high on the list is common-sense testing. This year, “your kids” shouldn’t be tested beyond the point of frustration. Testing should be used to improve instruction and learning – period. It should never be used to label or punish.
Finally on your wish list is adequate school funding. “Your kids” deserve a well-funded public education. Being 49th in the nation in what is spent to educate a child is not okay. Playing politics with public education funding isn’t okay. It puts the burden of funding clearly on the back of “your kids.”
At OEA, we will continue to fight for you, your profession and “your kids.” After all, it’s the right thing to do, and we are doing it for the right reason – “your kids.”
As you begin this school year, know that you are appreciated not only for what you do, but for caring enough to do it.
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