Being in the company of teachers
Every time I stop by classrooms to observe, I’m impressed by our teachers. In addition to being well educated and knowledgeable about their subjects and the world, they are interesting, kind, and compassionate people. They fully embrace their role because they see their work with children as one of the most important things they can do with their lives.
Parents at Oak Meadow deeply value our teachers. In the parent survey conducted before the December break, parents commented that teachers know and understand their children as individuals. Parents appreciate teachers for being so caring, supportive, and encouraging.
Of course, the development of a strong academic foundation — in math, science, language arts, social studies, and other subjects is a priority. But at Oak Meadow, our teachers have broader goals. They simultaneously guide students in reaching their individual potential as human beings. The learning environment in the classroom integrates health, well-being, positive social relationships, and the development of social and emotional skills that are essential in life. Teachers guide students in building positive relationships with others, learning to function as part of a larger community, and using these experiences to develop a larger sense of their own identity and purpose in life. Oak Meadow students develop more self-confidence because they have a deeper sense of who they are and what they are capable of accomplishing, as individuals and in community. It is not surprising to me this is what I hear about Oak Meadow graduates from high school admissions officers from prestigious private and public schools.
In our larger society, teachers generally do not receive the appreciation they deserve. Parents can become allies in bringing a new level of appreciation and respect to the dedication of teachers and the impact on our children. We can insist that teachers be more fully appreciated and respected as professionals, including having salaries and benefits that match their professional skills. We can acknowledge that the work of teachers is often challenging, even more so during COVID. We can give testimony to how the commitment, hard work, patience, and enduring love expressed by teachers makes an enormous contribution to our children and the future of society.
We are all so fortunate to be in the company of teachers.