Teachers need the proper resources

Published 9:58 pm Monday, June 20, 2011

During the final weeks of the school year, the Times-Journal published a series of articles featuring the valedictorians at most of the area schools.

The stories featured the best and the brightest our school systems have to offer and provided a glimpse of the type of student our systems are able to produce

These students, while remarkable young men and women we should be quite proud of as a community, unfortunately are quickly becoming the exception rather than the norm.

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In an environment where nearly half of the students entering high school will drop out, it is growing increasingly apparent that our school systems are – if not broken – on a shaky foundation.

This in no way is meant to criticize the teachers who work every day in some of the toughest conditions and with far too few resources to develop every child to his or her greatest potential. But, there is no doubt that the job of teaching no longer garners the same respect or support it did a few decades ago.

This is the basic foundation that must be strengthened.

When the teachers of today entered the field, little did they know they would be the ones asked to buy the most basic of classroom materials and be faced with a generation of students who provide little respect to any authority, much less one telling them what to do five days a week.

Critics will say public school systems are too costly and use public funds too inefficiently. But, do we expect our school systems to make money? And, what kind of return on investment are we expecting from our taxpayer supported systems?

To build a better school system we must provide the basic support and treat with the utmost respect those who — for far too little pay — are asked to provide the education to the young men and women who will lead our community, our state and our nation in just a few years.

It is not too much to ask our elected leaders, our school system leaders, our headmasters and boards of directors to first support those who are asked to do the job.

It is then, and only then, once they have the support and resources to do the job, that we can then criticize them for the results being produced.