Editorial – Another school year, another opportunity

Published 5:11 pm Tuesday, August 29, 2023

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Teachers and students from Suffolk Public Schools may very well be glancing at their calendars with a mixture of joy and dread over the figurative Big Red Circle on the calendar that marks Sept. 5, the end of a summer vacation that will seem all too short for some and far too long for others.

Ready or not, though, all of Suffolk’s students will be back in their classes by this time next week. Having enjoyed one last long holiday weekend with family and friends, those who head to school Tuesday morning can be divided into two groups — those who will take advantage of the opportunity they have in America for a first-rate, free education and those who ignore the gift placed before them and choose to live only up to society’s low expectations.

For those who grab onto the opportunity and pursue the goal of the true American Dream — a better life than that of those who have gone before them — the path will be full of twists and turns, ruts and potholes. It’s not easy, after all, to achieve a dream. And nothing easily achieved will be long remembered or valued, anyway.

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For those who choose the path of simply sliding by in school, things will be much easier for the time being. But the harvest they reap will likely be meager, in proportion to what they sowed during those seemingly carefree days.

It’s especially hard for teenagers to see the reward of the work they do in high school. Good teachers and involved parents help them see the benefits every day and frequently encourage them and praise them for their hard work.

Here are a few of our favorite quotes that students, parents and teachers might find inspirational as they embark on a new year of learning:

  • “The job of an educator is to teach students to see the vitality in themselves.” — Joseph Campbell
  • “One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world.” — Malala Yousafzai
  • “Education is the key to unlocking the world, a passport to freedom.” — Oprah Winfrey
  • “The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think — rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men.” — Bill Beattie
  • “You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.” — Clay P. Bedford
  • “Intelligence plus character — that is the true goal of education.” — Martin Luther King
  • “Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.” — G.K. Chesterton
  • “If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.” — Chinese proverb

We pray that all of Suffolk’s students will find good teachers and involved parents or other adults who help them learn to make the most of this school year. Good luck to all.