In response to Dick Yarbrough’s “Open letter to teachers” on Aug. 18, I want to say thank you from an educator still in the classroom after many decades of trying to make a difference. I particularly appreciated your comments about “changing a lot of young lives for the better, and forever.” This is indeed what all teachers dedicate themselves to for the long haul, both in good times and bad.
In order to be able to make this very real difference in young people’s lives, we must have the opportunity to get to know them and their individual needs and dreams. What most people don’t know about public educators is that our real “employers “are the “public” — students and their parents. We are there to serve the most important function, that of a “global” education, and to not just those who have money, or an easy life, or who have lots of support at home, but each and every child who enters our door.
I heard someone say the other day that they pay their taxes so therefore why aren’t schools doing a better job? I contend that teachers, administrators and Forsyth County are doing a better job. I contend that rather than give tax breaks for private schools, taxes should reflect upkeep and the needs of the public schools in their ability to keep up with the needs of all children in being able to hire enough teachers and in building new schools. This is what legislators need to be looking at for their “public.”
I hope Mr. Yarbrough continues in his fight for us. Sometimes it is difficult to “hear” our supporters for all of the negativity in the press. If everyone who has a family member who is a teacher, and every student (child or adult) who has been influenced by a teacher, and yes, every legislator in America who has an education because of public education. were to write in to their legislators, well, suffice it to say, perhaps then educators would receive the thanks they so richly deserve.
Elizabeth A. Faris