It’s the start of a new school year.
Fresh-sharpened pencils, pristine backpacks, stylish haircuts and new clothes and shoes set the tone for what is sure to be the best school year ever.
If only our children could bottle that feeling and reach for it every time they needed motivation. Thankfully, teachers, administrators and other school staff daily motivate our students through encouraging words or a hug, or, if need be, a critical eye or word.
An African proverb says that it takes a village to raise a child.
That means that an entire community of people must interact with children for those children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment.
It begins with the bus driver, crossing guard or school secretary who cheerfully greet our children first thing in the morning. We all know what a smile or encouraging word means to start the day.
The nurturing continues when students enter their classroom. Students spend more than 1,000 hours with their teacher in a typical school year. Research shows that the relationship with a teacher can be critically important to how well students learn.
Great teachers encourage their students and make learning fun.
We thank all the teachers for being on the front lines. Daily you shape the character, caliber, and future of our children.
We all can remember that one educator who made a difference in our life. Even when you professed that you would never understand the concept of fractions, they encouraged you until the fog lifted and it became clear.
Or maybe it was the lunch lady, janitor or coach who took an interest in your life. They may not have been in the classroom imparting a lesson from a book, but they shared many life lessons you didn’t realize were valuable until much later.
Thanks to all in the village who nurture our children and encourage them to do their best. Let’s hope this is the best school year ever.
Black Hills Pioneer,
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