Vail Daily column: Don’t forget to thank a teacher
Thank you to Dr. Jason Glass, Eagle County Schools superintendent, for his recent column titled “Take a Stand for Teachers” (which can be found online here: http://www.vaildaily.com/opinion/16211112-113/vail-daily-column-take-a-stand-for-teachers).
Dr. Glass shared that it was recently National Thank a Teacher Week, encouraging everyone to thank a teacher who had made a difference in your life or your child’s life. I think it’s a safe assumption that everyone has in fact been shaped and molded by a teacher, and further that teachers on a daily basis indeed make profound impacts. Teachers do, in fact, provide the guidance and inspiration to help children achieve more than they could alone.
I think back to some of my elementary and high school teachers as well as my college professors at CU-Boulder (special shout out to Pat Long and Rick Perdue) who provided the inspiration referenced by Dr. Glass. Solomon Ortiz, a congressional representative from Texas, said it better than I can when he said, “Education is the key to success in life, and teachers make a lasting impact in the lives of their students.”
Community Development Priority
It’s possible that I’m inherently biased, as I come from a family of teachers, and I have a daughter in Eagle County Schools, but I’m of the belief that thanking a teacher might literally be the least we can do. It’s not a “feel-good” effort — it’s an economic and community development priority. While the basics (readin’, writin’ and ’rithmatic) remain essential lessons from our primary school system, teachers help build well-educated citizens who can be prepared to take on the responsibilities required by a well-functioning community. Frankly, teachers are the backbone of the educational system, are the leaders in our schools and community, and help build our future workforce and future community leaders. This of course needs to be reinforced at home and by the business community.
When families, schools and community institutions collectively work on their community goals and decide how to reach them together, everyone benefits. Schools enjoy the informed support of community members, families experience many opportunities to contribute to and participate in their children’s education, and communities benefit from an educated, responsible workforce. A recent example of this type of collaboration was the Vail Valley Partnership and Eagle Valley Rotary Clubs working with the Eagle County Schools to host a career fair for high school students.
Common Thread is Quality
The common thread in this equation is quality teachers. I’ve been fortunate to volunteer a bit at Homestake Peak School in Eagle-Vail and have seen some amazing teachers at work. A special thank you to Miss Holly, Mrs. Wyse and Miss Peachey for their efforts. It’s truly amazing to watch a teacher at work who commands the respect of a room full of children — and it’s equally amazing to watch the educational growth of these same children throughout the course of the school year. It takes a special kind of patience, hard work and dedication to be a teacher, and we’re fortunate here in Eagle County to have these special people at our schools throughout the valley.
School ends in one short week and kids throughout the valley will be out for the summer. Be sure to find a time in the next week to thank a teacher for providing reinforcement and a positive school experience to our children, which has incremental benefits to our community at large.
So, thank you to all the teachers. It’s the least we can say, and it’s true. You’re appreciated, and we’re thankful for your efforts.
Chris Romer is president and CEO of Vail Valley Partnership.