I grew up through public schools. Over the last few months I’ve had the honor to help out a public school district. I’m seeing and sensing a greater antagonism towards public education that is unhelpful. Here is my bottom line: Public schooling is profoundly local, requires parental engagement and is not the enemy. I encourage you to consider these thoughts:
Educators are our neighbors
If you’re stressed from family life, the inner-workings of your job and wanting to make a difference, then you’re like many of our educators. Most educators are concerned with how to help kids learn how to read, write, etc., while also walking through life. They do have a life outside of school in the communities we reside in and the churches we attend. I’ve heard from many public educators that they sometimes feel like second class church members because they teach in a public school. This is a sin churches should repent of! Think of educators as your neighbors.
Parents are wanted
The number one issue I hear from my educator friends is this: There is often a lack of parent engagement. I’ll repeat that for those who may be shocked: Educators have as a primary concern the lack of parental involvement in their child’s education. Many schools are what’s known as Title 1. To be a Title 1 school, the school is required to support parental engagement. Parents and guardians, we’re the ones that need to step up and improve education. By just engaging with our children and partnering with our educator neighbors we can make a difference. Ok, I know we’re all busy, but family comes first. Our kids are worth it.
Apathy is the enemy
Too often people view public education through the lens of national news, especially if one comes form a politically conservative viewpoint. It is easy to attack public education through a national viewpoint because we don’t have to act. Public education is a profoundly local issue. Teachers are very open to parental involvement. They conduct themselves with class and professionalism. Are there things we disagree with? I’m sure if it. The issue is we’re often not willing to engage with our community and make it a better place. Rather than being apathetic, let us be the cheerleaders of great educators.
Trust is the issue
Many fear public education because trust and a sense of community has eroded in our culture. It is hard to trust someone you don’t know. It is hard to effect change through antagonism. We listen close to those we consider friends. We don’t presume to tell our doctors how to do their job, but we wisely partner with them for better heath. The same is true of education. Be patient, take time and be involved. Your community and your public schools will be better for it. Work on building trust, and remember they’re human just like you!
A huge thanks to my sons’ school district!
I’m fortunate that my boys are a part of an excellent school district that puts kids first. I am a better leader and parent because of my interaction with my district’s educators. I’m amazed by their passion, class and professionalism. My community is a much better place because of their efforts!