Teachers deserve high praise

Published 4:49 pm Monday, October 23, 2006

By Staff
I know that teachers across the country receive awards on a somewhat regular basis. Some are chosen as teacher of the month for a particular school and some are chosen as teacher of the year for a system or even a whole state.
I'm not sure what the criteria for these awards is, but I do know that for the most part, teachers are under-recognized, underpaid, and under-awarded. I know this because I am married to a teacher.
I'm not trying to toot any one person's horn, but teachers often perform tasks for students and their schools with little or no thanks. Since my husband is in the field of special education, I know just from hearing him talk about his workload that paperwork has increased more than just a little for teachers during the past couple of years.
With the No Child Left Behind project, more details are needed in documentation of studies completed, lessons taught, tests given, scores interpreted, and the list goes on and on.
When I hear that a teacher has received special recognition, I feel proud for them, because I know something about how they struggle with their jobs. They love to teach, but sometimes the job entails being more of a bookkeeper, disciplinarian, counselor, custodian, nurse and dietitian. With the paper work involved in testing, documenting and retesting, it's a wonder that lesson plans come through. In some cases, especially in the case of elementary school or special education teachers, the part of counselor, custodian and nurse, can sometimes take a back seat to the position of teacher.
We heard about a fourth-grade teacher at Wright Mills Road Elementary School somewhere near Auburn being named a recipient of the Milken National Educator Award.
You may not think that sounds like much - but just listen to this: the award has been referred to as the &#8220Oscars of Teaching” according to Teacher Magazine; the award is presented annually to only 100 teachers nationwide; the award recipient gets a check for $25,000.
In the world of teaching, the monetary award alone could be a good three-fourths of an annual salary. What an honor to have hard work, dedication and caring for students recognized in such a way.
I'm not financially able to give my child's teacher such a great monetary gift, but I can give the gift of involvement.
This past week, I was able to visit with my son's teacher as part of the statewide parenting day. I'm not sure if she appreciated the fact that I took time from my day to discuss my child's education with her. I am sure that I am certainly more appreciative of her work with him following that visit.
Teachers who receive recognition are usually very humbled by the experience, only because it is very seldom that they receive any recognition. Take the time to write your child's teacher a note of thanks for putting up with your child and help them to learn ABC, 123 and so much more.
Thank you Mrs. Nalty. I appreciate what you do with and for my son. You're a peach.
Lisa Tindell is a news writer for The Brewton Standard. She can be reached at 867-4876 or by email at lisa.tindell@brewtonstandard.com.

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