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Teachers Matter

By Beth McArdle, LCSW

Sounds simple right? Teachers matter. We all know this. We see inspiration quotes about teachers all the time and we all agree. We have teachers in our lives that have impacted small things that lead to really big things. However, when you have a child and you trust that someone with your child everyday you realize how much teachers really matter.
So many of my friends used to say they would research the teachers and try to request who they felt was best for their kids. I used to think, “Is that over the top?” I don’t remember my parents doing this, should we trust who our child is going to spend the day with, I mean they are the teacher right? I am not saying we should pick our kids instructors we must trust the school. However, I do believe that the teachers are children encounter impact them in so many ways, sometimes in challenges they must overcome and sometimes with life lessons they will benefit from forever.
We sent Clayton to basketball camp this summer and we thought first, he will be active, then he may improve on his basketball skills and enjoy camp. When Clayton, our 9 year old at the time came home and shared that Coach Jordan, Walter Jordan, from Lake Point camp, encouraged him to ask if I needed help around the house or ask what he could do to be helpful, my ears and interest were increased. He began to share what Coach Jordan was teaching them, not to be a ball hog, that everyone has skills they can build on, the importance of a team and that respect begins at home. Wow! We received way more than what we paid for Clayton to attend this basketball camp. Coach Jordan, impacted his life in an incredible way forever. Clayton was even excited to get up and go to camp daily. We are grateful for his time with our son.
Then, there is the Sunshine House. I cannot share with you the gratitude I feel in my heart for their Director Mrs. Shelia and the assistant director Mrs. Amanda and all of the amazing teachers our kids have encountered throughout their time with them. This year we just graduated from day care except on the holidays from school. I told Mrs. Sheila their relationships with our kids have been priceless. They allowed us to trust our kids were being loved, structured, taught and prepared for school, social relationships and life through all their time with them. It also allowed my husband and me to work and live out God’s purpose in our lives as well as being parents.
This year Clayton started 4th grade with Mrs. Gore, and wow. He has been excited to come home and share what is happening in class every day. We are grateful for her energy and passion spilling over to our son.
Betty Grace our 5 year old has started Kindergarten with Mrs. Harris and on the second day Betty already made her a heart with her name on it. What does that tell me? That she is creating a relationship with our daughter that will impact her school career. She is making an environment to learn that Betty Grace will actually look forward to school and increase her love for learning.
How do we repay these people and their greatness? By saying thank you. By being supportive of their drive and desire to teach our children, by recognizing they are not perfect and will have challenging days, especially around testing times and in May. Today ask yourself who are the teachers in your life you loved the most? Why? Are you impacting other people in your life in a positive way? “ Education is improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it” Marian Wright Edelman.
I would like to leave my community better with my actions wouldn’t you? Thank you teachers, that is all I know to say thank you.
Take care of you.