Mojo thanks teachers
Mojo really appreciated your excellent coverage of high school graduations. It brought back fond memories. Mojo is an honor graduate of the Daisy Hill School. Legend has it that Snoopy once graduated from the Daisy Hill School.
As Mojo and I discussed graduations, our thoughts turned to teachers. Graduation time is a good time to thank teachers, particularly public school teachers. In some quarters it seems fashionable to knock public schools and their teachers. Sometimes, statistics will be trotted out to show how our public schools are not doing the job. What’s that Mojo? That’s right. Mojo just reminded me that if we put all the statisticians in the world head to tail, they would never reach a conclusion. He warned me about running down statistical rabbit trails trying to improve this score or that score.
If we were selective about who is taught, many of the challenges in our public school classrooms would vanish. Test scores would soar. However, public policy in the United States is that all children are to be in school until they are sixteen.
No exception is made for the disruptive student who takes upon himself or herself the mission of destroying the idealism of young teachers. No exception is made for the disabled youngster who is dependent upon others for movement. No exception is made for the sullen child who cannot trust any authority figure because she or he is abused at home. No exception is made for the malnourished child whose only good meal of the day is the school lunch. No exception is made for the marginally academic student who, in other times and places, would have left school at an early age. No exception is made for the refugee child who struggles to speak English.
In our opinion, the heart of public education is theological. All of God’s children should have the opportunity to maximize their potential. No exceptions. The family of God does not include just the brightest and the best.
How do we say thank you to public school teachers? One way to say thank you is to adequately fund education. I once had a conversation with the former State Superintendent of Education. He told me that the most difficult part of his job was answering letters from young college graduates who had always dreamed of teaching but the positions they were seeking had been cut because of budget short falls. Pay checks that provide a decent standard of living for teachers regardless of the economic status of the location of where they teach is a concrete way of saying thanks. The quality of education should not be dependent upon proximity to riches.
Mojo and I did not have to go far to observe what a difference committed teachers can make. We have shared a bed with a teacher for a long time. Mary, my wife and the other favorite human in Mojo’s life, taught biology and chemistry in a public high school for twenty five years. Mojo and I were volunteer coaches. Daily we got feedback about how important able, caring teachers are for students. Mary did not teach toward test scores. She taught with an eye toward helping students make a connection between school and the world beyond school. She also helped students develop a love of learning that hopefully will last them a lifetime.
Mary gave us another insight into how to thank teachers. Family and community involvement goes a long way in saying thank you to public school teacher who are expected “to fix things” not of their making, nor their responsibility. Parents can become involved in the Parent Teacher Student Association and can regularly stay in touch with their children’s teachers (not just at report card time). Parents can take an interest in what their children are learning and encourage them.
Whether folks have children in a local community school or not, they can volunteer to help. In our area we have retired people who regularly read with students at neighborhood schools. They become part of he extended families of students. Local businesses can “adopt” schools. Students learn better when they do see a connection between what they are learning and the world of work. Family and community involvement in public schools is a way of saying thank you.
And of course a simple word of appreciation is always in order. Thank you Mrs. Cotton (my tenth grade English teacher).
The Rev. Dr. Jim Watkins
Senate District 32
In reference to the Georgetown Times newspaper article on the results of SC Senate District 32 election that was published online on June 13, comments made by SC Senator Yancey McGill seem to indicate he is not “thankful” for the voters in Williamsburg County because all of them did not cast their vote for him in Tuesday’s primary election. He is only thankful for the Georgetown County voters and has no regard for the voters in Berkeley, Florence, Horry, or Williamsburg Counties.
Voter turnout percent (35.36%) in Williamsburg County was the highest statewide. This is an indication that both campaigns did an excellent job getting their message out to the voters.
I am very disappointed that Senator McGill found it necessary to interject “racial divide” in the election as a reason he did not win the majority vote in Williamsburg County.
The voters made a clear choice as to who they believe could help bring about the change that is very much needed in this county. This is the first reference to “racial divide” I have heard during this entire election process. Senator McGill owes the voters of Williamsburg County an apology for his comments.
George Brown, Chairman
Williamsburg County Democratic Party
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