As we approach the halfway point of our school year, I have the tendency to look back at the past few months and realize how far we've come. No longer green first and fifth graders, both my girls head off to school with more confidence and their heads held high. For my oldest, the adjustment to a new school and fifth grade was a challenge but one that she gracefully accepted with tenacity and determination. My youngest loves her school, her friends and most of the time, her schoolwork. We are so grateful to the wonderful teachers we have this year who work hard every single day to make sure our children are encouraged, inspired and develop a true love for education.
Having said that, I do realize that not all teachers are outstanding. Sometimes I see their faces as they leave the schools looking tired and overwhelmed. Some of them might just be burnt out which is completely understandable in my opinion, as I only volunteer at the school but still see how difficult teachers have it. Teachers are allocated less and less these days of the schools overall budget for supplies, leading them to have to fund a lot of the costs. They ask for assistance from parents who often times get upset with them because they're requesting extra help. I help donate what I can because we are lucky enough to be able to do that but understandably not everyone can. I often see challenging students who take away others learning time. It's not fair to those teachers who chose this profession to educate children, not to be babysitters. It's also not fair to those children who are there to learn. Often times, those children who act out have a world that I probably couldn't imagine outside the school. Some of the children only eat breakfast and lunch at school. Sometimes the best part of their day is when they are in their school community. I look at their little faces and worry for them. I often wonder what drives some parents to act the way they do, what is going on at home to result in the way some kids act out? I'm grateful that we have so many wonderful educators, aides and administrators to help them on a daily basis. It does take a village, and I'm so sad to see more and more parents who throw their arms up in the air and exclaim, "It's not my problem, you deal with THEM during the day". I can't even imagine but I do think it's out there. I think some people feel like it's the school's responsibility to make their children into better people but I'm a firm believer that it does start at home. Families need to be encouraging their young children, shutting off the TV, taking away electronic devices if needed and talking to their children. Reading the notes that come home. Looking at their schoolwork and areas of opportunity. It starts at home!
More often, I realize that something needs to change. It starts at the community level, we need to rally up and support our schools. We need to remember that these are the youngest citizens in our community, children who will grow and hopefully become active members of society. The first step is to start the conversation!