Education: A companion given by teachersOne last time on education? Been writing for the Superior Telegram many years. I started back in the 1970s when Gologoski was editor.
By: Bernie Hughes, Superior Telegram
One last time on education? Been writing for the Superior Telegram many years. I started back in the 1970s when Gologoski was editor. I was serving on the Superior School Board at the time, had a doctorate degree in education, taught junior and senior high levels, superintendent of schools, college professor and had written education articles for the Wisconsin School Boards Association, and other professional journals.
Why one more article now?
Lately, I’ve heard too many negative remarks about education and teachers. Maybe, in some rare instances, teachers have been overpaid; maybe they’ve had large pensions, etc. Maybe that is true in some instances, but my experience has led me to believe otherwise.
I would like to share with you an example of what teachers do for all our children. I want to share what education has meant for longer than either you or I can contemplate.
Why haven’t I written about education in the last few years? Because I’m out of uniform now and viewing education from the sidelines. Pat Dorin, former administrator and board member is doing a good job.
I hope you’ll stay with me for the following.
Education has been unquestionably important for a very long time. In 1864, 148 years ago, a Boston preacher, Phillips Brooks, summed it up:
Education is a companion:
No misfortune can depress.
No clime destroy.
No enemy alienate.
No despotism enslave.
At home a friend.
Abroad an introduction.
In society an ornament.
And in solitude a solace.
How important is the work that teachers do every day, in whatever way they can discover what works best for each of those individual students? They have too many, but we, seemingly, can’t afford to maintain enrollments at a reasonable level.
A teacher answered a high-powered CEO who asked her a taunting question: “I’ve heard it said that those who can, do and those that can’t, teach. I make a corporation profitable, what do you, as a teacher, make?”
She was not a quiet easily “kowtowed” young lady. So I’ve kept her answer for many years now.
You really want to know what I make. O.K., I’ll tell you:
I make kids wonder.
I make them question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions.
I teach them how to write and make them write.
I make them read, read, read.
I make them show all their work in math.
I make my students from other countries learn everything, they need to know in English while preserving their cultural identity.
I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.
I make my students stand to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, because we live in the United States of America.
Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life.
After a pause she concluded with: “When people try to judge me by what I make, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are uninformed. I make a difference.
What do you make?”
Bernie Hughes, Ed.D, is a retired educator who resides in Superior. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.