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Our Opinion: The importance of teachers

Our Opinion: The importance of teachers

August 11th, 2018 by News Tribune in Opinion

Good teachers don't just educate. They spawn creativity. They listen, encourage and motivate.

They change lives.

On Wednesday, JCPS Superintendent Larry Linthacum welcomed 88 new JCPS teachers and staff, by name, to the Rotary Club of Jefferson City's annual luncheon for new teachers at the Capitol Plaza Hotel. It was open to all area new teachers, not just ones at the public schools.

Teacher of the Year Jana Forck gave a movie-themed speech, including quotes from movies, to inspire the teachers. Among them:

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"My number one rule is hope for the best, prepare for the worst." — actor David Strathairn's character from 2007's "The Bourne Ultimatum."

"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, then everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great." — Tom Hanks' character in 1992's "A League of Their Own."

"Together, even the smallest can achieve the greatest." — "A Bug's Life."

Teachers often have stressful jobs, and they're sometimes underpaid and under-appreciated.

You can help with the latter.

As this school year starts, thank your children's teachers for their commitment to educating and inspiring your children.

When you have issues with their teachers — and you will, at times — discuss your concerns with them respectfully. And keep in mind they get bombarded with similar concerns from other parents: "My daughter has never earned less than a straight A." "Why are you teaching this and not that?" "My son would never do that. Why are you punishing him?" "You need to let her go to the bathroom whenever she wants, even if it is 15 times a day."

So pick your battles. Teachers are human, and they made mistakes like the rest of us. But here's usually two sides to the story, and you've likely only heard one.

The bottom line: Show teachers the respect and appreciation they deserve. And remember, you're on the same team — you both share the goal of creating great futures for our children.