Texas Education

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Difficult not to support good teachers

Posted by Texas Education on November 26, 2008

Cross posted at Friends of Texas Public Schools. I thought this was a pretty moving piece.

By Rayanne Schmid

Paper: The Daily Times
Date: September 2nd, 2008

Full disclosure first: I am the daughter of a longtime teacher.

The six of us kids spent a lot of time in her classroom, where we helped, waited and watched.

It gave us a unique view of what teachers go through while trying to educate a classroom of 25 young minds.

Now I see teachers from another point of view as the parent of two elementary school children and one 3-year-old.

In six years, we have seen many loving, caring people who truly care about the students they teach or oversee. Only a few might have needed a career change. The girls have spent time with teachers who bestowed confidence, work ethic and knowledge upon them.

Those positive experiences make it tough to argue when it comes to purchasing school supplies or helping out in the classroom when asked.

The Kerrville Independent School District lists seemed quite in line with the basic needs of a classroom. The three boxes of tissues might seem a bit excessive, but I’ve watched the many years my mom’s kindergarten classroom ran out of tissues when each child brought only two boxes. The perfect amount might be two and a half boxes, but that’s hard to request.

What parents don’t see are the numerous supplies teachers don’t ask for but purchase on their own.

They might pick up special googlie eyes for an art project, $6; snacks for kids who have none, $4; a math worksheet book, $25; two special pencil grips for a little girl who needs extra help, $4; cupcakes to celebrate the 100th day of school, $8. That’s just the beginning.

The real work comes after all the purchases are made and the classroom seats are filled.

There are 20-plus children from varied backgrounds with a variety of needs and problems. A lucky teacher finds she has a group of gifted students who needs to be challenged.

Mixed in with those high-level learners are slow learners, those on track, the learning or emotionally disabled, the undisciplined, the unloved, the spoiled and the simply untamed.

Despite the varied students, these educators prepare students for the next level and contribute to the adults they will become.

I don’t envy the task before them and am amazed they take it on with so much energy and grace. But I am thankful for all they do and won’t begrudge them a list of school supplies.

Rayanne Schmid is managing editor of the Times. She may be reached at Rayanne Schmid.

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