One special teacher and all the others
Some things stay the same. Some things change, not necessarily for the better, but because someone sees the necessity. I was an educator for thirty-three years. I taught pre-school to college and I can state without a single doubt that education has changed to a point of being unrecognizable! Sure, the components remain fixed; there are children and there are teachers! That is where the similarity ends. The philosophy, the politics and the social culture have driven the transformation and now what the young parents view as the norm is for me a strife between "what was" and "what is." Thankfully, "S's " teacher who has been there and is now here was as patient and understanding as she possibly could be. I absolutely marveled at the pace of the kinder curriculum, the skill packed schedule, the level of content and the management of twenty-one minds of mush as they treked through this learning experience. "S's" teacher has adult children as do I, and we both remember when kindergarten was primarily about socialization, the ABC's and the recognition of numbers. "S" can read primer books, can name the missing number in a math sentence, can recognize the differences between rocks, can tell you if a word is a noun or verb and can cite the solution to many social situations. She writes and writes and writes!. Notes, letters, stories, summarizations of stories, descriptions of pictures, her interests, her opinions and her thoughts all scripted from mind to pen to paper. Words to live as a testament of her being, now reside within the confines of a cardboard box and forever within segments of my heart.. This is the adventure that her teacher so fearlessly guided her and twenty other five year olds through. It should boggle the mind that so much can be accomplshed in such a short time with a group of individuals of varying experiences, family dynamics, intelligence, social aptitude, personalities and needs. And what so many do not realize is that this is such a small part of the equation in the twenty-first century of education. Committees, communication to parents, endless requests for written accountability, other duties as assigned, school projects, community projects, social duties, collaboration meetings, and extensive yearly training are just some of the requiremnts of this job. Teaching is no longer the career of choice for those with families because you get out at three and have summers off. "S's" teacher probably worked a fourteen hour day and spent most weekends catching up. She remained focused on the vision for each of her darlings and "S' profitted from this love and dedication. I cannot thank her teacher enough and for all teachers like her for taking my precious cargo and returning it to me in such beautiful shape!
Garden Ridge, Texas