Meet the teachers and stay involved

Published 7:14 pm Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hundreds of men and women returned to work on Tuesday after a well-deserved summer vacation. Each of them met dozens of new charges with various levels of eagerness to sit down at their desks and get back to work.

Considering their generous vacation and holiday schedules, teachers may not have the hardest or most stressful jobs in the world, but there’s little argument that they have some of the most important duties in our society.

As each of those new students walked into their classrooms Tuesday morning, there was a teacher on hand to smile and say, “Welcome” and to set the tone for the coming months. Bright, engaged and caring teachers of all levels of experience set the tone for a positive, fruitful learning experience this year. It’s exciting to think of the impression those professionals will make on their students.

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Unfortunately, there also were sure to have been some duds, those few teachers who are burnt out on their jobs, who would rather have been anywhere else on Tuesday and who feel they are just about fed up with kids. Be clear that these teachers, too, will influence their students. Young minds are malleable and can be shaped by nearly any strong influence.

There’s hardly a better argument for parents to get to know their children’s teachers. Only personal knowledge of the personalities involved will equip them to fully and appropriately support their children’s intellectual and emotional development.

The bonus is that a parent who is involved in his or her child’s education almost always has a child who ends up doing better in school than the child of a disengaged parent. And helping students excel should be the shared goal of parents, teachers, administrators and the students, alike.

Make a commitment this school year to stay involved in your child’s education, to get to know his or her teachers and to give the child the tools he or she needs to succeed. You might be amazed at the results.