(Editor’s Note: The following editorial appeared in the Archbold Buckeye the week of Jan. 26, 2005)
Teachers are always looking for ways to improve their methods of instruction. From the use of computers, which weren’t available in most classrooms 20 years ago, to working together to create “synergistic opportunities,” as Ken Cline, Archbold Area Schools superintendent, put it, “educators work hard to give students unique learning opportunities.”
Teaching is not a nine-month job. It is a year-around job where teachers get to school early, leave late, and take work home to sometimes finish in the wee hours of the morning and on the weekends. The tests and homework assignments don’t magically get graded in a 45-minute planning period.
Many teachers use the summer to take professional courses that help incorporate new ideas into the classroom.
More burdens are placed on schools every year. Feed the children breakfast. Provide after-school programs so they don’t go home to an empty house. Teach them ethics. Attend to individual needs of students with severe learning disabilities and still keep the rest of the class concentrating on the tasks at hand.
And what seems to be the favorite problem-solver; give students yet another proficiency test.
Teachers can’t do everything and they can’t do it alone. They need active, involved parents.
Too many parents are leaving the education of their children to the schools. Whatever happened to learning at home?
Parents need to help their children learn. Learn to read. Learn to write. Learn to solve math problems. Learn to become good persons.
Stop using the television and computer as baby-sitting tools.
Instill a love of reading in your children; sit down and read to or with them every night. Reading is the basic building block for all learning; good readers develop an appetite for discovery and become better humans.
Help them with their homework and check it over, yourself.
Give children responsibilities, and enforce consequences if the responsibilities aren’t met.
Teach them how to tell right from wrong. Don’t just say, “they’ll just do it anyway.” Provide your children with the guidance and morals to make the right decisions, and they just might surprise you.
And what if your children make wrong decisions? Love them enough to discipline them, and support school personnel and their disciplinary policies if your children break classroom rules.
Stop passing off your responsibilities to everyone else. You chose to become a parent. Now act like one.