Education Celebrations: VISD volunteers, teachers appreciated
By Diane Boyett
May 4, 2014 at 12:04 a.m.
The joy of being in education is that there is always something to celebrate.
At the end of the day, the celebration may be the memory of a student's aha moment. It may be a higher than expected score on a test. It could be a heartfelt high-five or a hug. Schools can be very happy places.
Last week, we celebrated the people who are not employed by VISD but who make a significant difference in the lives of our students. With more than 400 volunteers gathered for the VISD Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon, we saw people of all ages, economic backgrounds, talents and professions come together. There was a great deal of energy in the room as each person was celebrated as a champion for children.
The American College Dictionary defines "champion" as one who fights for or defends any person or cause. In VISD, we see the definition as including the volunteers who work for our children from crayons to college and careers.
Board President Tami Keeling noted that the volunteers on our school campuses may be just the right people who form the tight-knit support group that forms a network to help every child succeed.
This week, we are celebrating our teachers. This is the 30th anniversary of the first PTA Teacher Appreciation Week. Tuesday is National Teacher Day, which is nationally sponsored by the National Education Association.
It is not trite to say that if you can read The Victoria Advocate, thank a teacher.
You would be hard-pressed to find any other professionals who touch as many people as teachers. Consider that at the elementary level, a teacher who gives 30 years in education directly teaches 650 to 700 students (and probably remembers every one of them). On the secondary level, the teachers typically have more than 100 students in their classes throughout the day. The teacher is not only touching the lives of the student but also the children they will have in the future. Their work forms the future of our community.
Public schools are at the heart of any community. And all the people in the schools have a huge responsibility to keep that heart healthy. We also know that every person in the community plays a significant part in supporting schools. Better than an apple or a thank-you card, the community's active support of the work of schools to teach and care for students is a great gift.
As we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, we encourage you to show your support for teachers in simple but meaningful ways. Make sure your children are in school. Make sure they arrive on time to start their learning day. Support your children in their learning by monitoring homework. Communicate with teachers. Volunteer in schools. Instill in your child a respect for and love of learning.
John Kennedy is quoted as having said: "There is an old saying that the course of civilization is a race between catastrophe and education. In a democracy such as ours, we must make sure that education wins the race."
Our teachers and volunteers are in that race every day. We thank them for making a difference in the lives of our children and in the future of our community.
Diane Boyett is the communications director for Victoria school district. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.