Excitement Fills the Halls
At the end of the first week of school, voices rang throughout the hallways saying, “I love my classroom friends! Best first week ever! Can’t wait to see the great things we can do this year! I love playing Pickleball in the gym!”
Students? No! These were teachers’ voices.
These same teachers had been working diligently in the weeks prior to school beginning preparing classrooms and planning experiences that excite and engage students.
Teachers made purchases from their own pockets to furnish classrooms with comfy chairs for student reading areas, decorate with maps and charts to allow for student exploration and learning and added fresh paint and inspiring quotations to uplift and encourage their students throughout the school year.
They had been on campus extra early this year to be sure everything was ready and inviting for their kiddos. Most stayed late to work on new curriculum and be sure everything was just right for the next day’s learning.
Do they look weary? Are they dragging themselves up the walkway at 7:30 each morning?
No. They are eagerly anticipating students arriving with smiling faces and cheery conversations. They are looking forward to the opportunity to share new knowledge and apply what was learned earlier in the week. They want to inspire confidence and share their love for learning with their new charges for the year.
Introducing students to new routines and expectations at the beginning of the school year can be daunting at times. It is not an easy task. It can be a time of much repetition and seatwork to assure procedures and classroom management are clearly understood by all. If they were less than bubbly at the end of the week, I certainly would understand.
Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th President of the United States, was greatly influenced by his time as a teacher in Welhausen School, located in the border town of Cotulla, Texas. The education policies he enacted during his presidency were mostly based on this early experience where he learned first-hand the value of a teacher in making a difference in the lives of students.
President Johnson used his first paycheck to purchase playground equipment for the school, formed a spelling club and made sure the students took field trips into towns to gain life experiences.
His experiences were the same as our teachers in today’s classrooms.
Those early days instilled in him a belief he shared, “We have always believed that our people can stand on no higher ground than the school ground or can enter any more hopeful room than the classroom. We blend time and faith and knowledge in our schools – not only to create educated citizens but also to shape the destiny of this great Republic.”
As we begin this school year, it is certainly evident that St. Cyprian’s Episcopal School agrees with the 36th President’s thoughts on education. We continue to place the highest priority on preparing our students for the responsibility of becoming leaders of the future.
This task is set in motion by the teachers in charge of shaping and molding them each day to not only participate; but, also become catalysts in the design of a good and meaningful future for themselves and our nation.
This is no small undertaking. The vital importance of the role well-educated, quality teachers play in creating the world we live in is often overlooked.
It is easy to underestimate the importance of teachers in our society.
During the week of in-service, prior to opening our doors to our students, teachers heard outstanding keynote speakers and were treated by local businesses and friends of the school with breakfasts and lunches.
Teachers were united and purposeful in developing their vision for our school and their students. They felt appreciated and supported by our families and the community, and they were thankful to be recognized for their dedication and hard work.
Lyndon Johnson also shared another of his beliefs garnered from his days in the classroom. “At the desk where I sit (as President), I have learned one great truth. The answer for all our national problems – the answer for all the problems of the world – comes to a single word. That word is “education.”
We agree and expand our thoughts on this topic.
We should never take for granted the teachers who make each day of education possible and productive to lead to this valued outcome. Teachers should be treated like every week is the week before school begins. They are worthy of our gratitude and recognition of the hard work they do each day and its ultimate impact in the lives of children and “this great Republic.”
Dr. Sherry Durham