The Times West Virginian

Opinion

May 8, 2013

‘Relentless efforts’ made by teachers are appreciated

Each weekday in classrooms across the country, men and women stand in front of young minds that are waiting to be molded, looking to be inspired, craving the lessons that will help shape their futures.

It’s not an easy task.

These teachers are the ones who give daily lessons on basic subjects such as writing and history. But they also serve as a guiding force for the hundreds, maybe even thousands, of students whose lives they will influence over the years.

Think back to your own years in the classroom. It’s likely you had a favorite teacher. Perhaps a math teacher’s passion for numbers helped you understand a world of fractions and figures that otherwise seemed incomprehensible. Or maybe a chemistry teacher used hands-on experiments to bring the elements to life.

And more often than not, the lessons went beyond what we read in textbooks.

We learned about compassion from the teacher who reminded us to be kind to fellow students and take a stand against bullying.

We learned about generosity from the teacher who organized a fundraiser for a family that had lost their home to a fire.

We learned about gratitude from the teacher who took the time to plan a “welcome home” rally for a returning soldier.

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, which gives each of us a chance to thank the men and women who have taken on such an important job.

As U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement recognizing Teacher Appreciation Week, teachers are central to every community in America.

“Each day, teachers come to school ready to tackle a job that is critically important, extraordinarily complex, often joyful and, at times, heartbreaking,” Duncan said. “It is our collective responsibility to make sure that the 3.2 million teachers in America’s classrooms have the tools, time and professional development to be the very best they can be. The quality of our education system can only be as good as the quality of the teaching happening in classrooms, and every member of society has a part to play in supporting our teachers and students.”

There are more than 8,000 students in Marion County. That’s more than 8,000 young lives ready to learn and prepare for a rapidly changing world, a world they often see through the lessons their teachers bring to them on a daily basis.

As we mentioned earlier, it’s not an easy task, but it’s certainly one that deserves recognition and appreciation.

Duncan said teachers should be thanked for their “relentless efforts” to help students achieve, and this week serves as the perfect opportunity to do just that.

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