Viewpoint: Celebrate our teachers' contributionsWith the launch of our new website, I have had an opportunity to view the online biographies of many of our staff members.
By: District 834 Superintendent Corey Lunn, Woodbury Bulletin
With the launch of our new website, I have had an opportunity to view the online biographies of many of our staff members.
Our district has teachers who have traveled, worked and lived across the world. We have teachers who are published authors, inventors and accomplished speakers. We have teachers who have helped develop our students into state champions, and many have been inducted into halls of fame for their work with students in extra-curricular activities. We have teachers with master’s and even doctoral degrees. We have teachers who began their careers in other professions and decided later in their lives to apply and share what they learned with our students.
Because of this collective knowledge and experience, we have successful young people who go on to attend colleges and universities and enjoy successful careers and lives, with many returning to live in the St. Croix Valley.
Coming from my work in many other school districts, I can tell you that this is not always the case. I have noticed that our teachers work more days during the school year, teach more minutes per day, have less time to prepare for their classes and take more years to reach the top of the pay scale as compared to other districts in which I have worked.
As a parent, the quality and experience of my young children’s teachers is just as important to me as that of their doctors, optometrists and dentists. Just as their health has a tremendous impact on their lives now and in the future, so does the quality of their education. Research clearly shows that the classroom teacher has the biggest impact on a child’s education. Even so, our teachers are not always held in the same esteem and appreciation as their colleagues in other parts of the world.
In the upcoming weeks, we will be honoring 18 of our teachers who, after working many years and impacting more students than I can imagine, will be entering well-deserved retirements. These 18 teachers represent a combined 367 years of experience and dedication to children and families in our schools. I thank them for dedicating their lives to such a noble cause.
The week of May 7-11 is National Teacher Recognition Week. It is during this time every year across the nation that we can take a moment to collectively recognize the efforts of these individuals and the tremendous impact they have on our youth.
With fewer resources available, many teachers use their own money to buy classroom materials. Teachers are under tremendous public scrutiny, and they must meet the ever increasing needs of their students. Unfortunately, because of these challenges, we are seeing fewer young people entering the teaching profession, and many others – around one-third – are leaving the profession within the first three to five years.
This is all the more reason to give a well-deserved “thank you” to our teachers, and this week presents an opportunity to show the support and appreciation that is sorely needed. Please join me this week in reaching out to the teachers in our children’s lives to let them know how much you appreciate their dedication to our students.
Lunn is superintendent of Stillwater School District