Letter to the editor: World Teachers Day is an important day

To the editor:

As I read the morning news recently, there was a World Teachers Day (Oct. 5) report.

Of the many things we honor with a recognition day, I feel teachers are one of the very best ones. They are the people in our children’s lives who stimulate their desire to learn and succeed in life. In many places around the world, education is a luxury for the more affluent or gifted.

We don’t realize the pressure we place on our teachers today. It has not been more than two or three generations ago that the ability to do basic arithmetic and a minimal ability to read was rare, even in this country. I have pictures of the one-room school with just a handful of children of all ages, and it functioned at the convenience of the local farmer’s planting and harvesting. The older students were taught first, and they assisted the teacher with the younger ones. Besides basics of reading, writing, arithmetic, history and geography, they learned how to be good citizens by helping and supporting each other.

Today, we have school schedules and curricula mandated by bureaucrats in distant government offices. Our teachers today not only teach the traditional basic subjects of reading and arithmetic along with social studies. They also watch for bullying and protect themselves and the students from issues of racism or other examples of social ostracizing. These issues are important but shouldn’t be an additional burden on our teachers.

As I thought about these issues, I considered all the adult examples these children are exposed to in their daily lives. We adults are their examples to learn from and follow. In reality, we adults are the teachers of life to the children, and there is also a lot we can learn just by observing how our children relate on the playground. There is little concern about race or gender when choosing sides for their games. Each child is judged and chosen by the positive attributes they may have to add to a team while race and gender are ignored. We adults might learn from their example.

Our children are constantly learning from our example of priorities and morality in all we do daily. They see when we rush to beat the change from yellow to red light. They learn to show respect and courtesy from our defensive or aggressive driving or just navigating our way through the grocery store. They learn the importance of religion and church worship by the importance and value mom and dad place on attending regular worship.

William Gerhard, Scipio