By Romy Carver
It’s Spring Break, a chance for students and teachers to regroup. Nobody deserves a break more than our teachers.
Teachers don’t stop working when school ends for the day. They are working evenings and weekends: working on curriculum, grading assignments, and getting very little down time.
Teachers are special people. They care about their students and they worry about those kids who are struggling. They know better than anyone that many of their students have very challenging home lives. It’s no secret that Tillamook County has a high rate of addiction and domestic violence. Often school is a safe refuge for kids. It’s a fact that child abuse reporting rates dropped sharply during the pandemic. Teachers were often the main reporters, and were that safety net for students who were in danger at home. Teachers save lives.
Our teachers have families and lives of their own, yet they are dedicated professionals who sacrifice a LOT for their students. Teachers are expected to teach basic academic skills, critical thinking, social skills, and morals to children, a sobering responsibility, and they do it well.
I grew up in Tillamook schools and attended two elementary schools, the junior high, and the high school. My 30-something kids grew up in Tillamook schools. Now I have two more students in Tillamook schools, and guess what? Our Tillamook County teachers are great!
They are available anytime for concerns and questions. They are ALWAYS respectful and responsive, and go the extra mile without my even having to ask. My kids feel safe in their classrooms, they feel cared about, and they are learning! These people have my undying respect and gratitude.
Unfortunately, the last two years have been nothing short of hellish for teachers. COVID turned the schools upside down and made life incredibly difficult. Many of them were trying to teach their own children at home while teaching online classes and dealing with staff shortages. They had to completely change the way they did everything. Yet they hung in there like rock stars.
Once in-person school resumed, teachers had to deal with the challenge of kids who had lost about two years of critical socialization. Some of these kids are being encouraged by “adults” to be disrespectful, obnoxious, and disruptive. The teachers have faced these challenges with maturity, creativity, determination, and professionalism.
If your child is struggling in school, teachers support them. If they are getting bullied, teachers support them. Regardless of your political or religious beliefs, teachers are on your child’s side. Those parents who encourage their kids to act out in school are only hurting and confusing their own children, pitting one set of adults against another. They are taking their political frustrations out on people who have done nothing wrong, while discounting the very real value those people have in their own child’s life.
Some people who are disgruntled with state-regulated curriculum are publicly haranguing and degrading our school staff. The teachers don’t choose the curriculum; they just do their jobs and teach it, so making their lives more difficult is pointless and misguided. Some of these folks don’t even have kids who attend our schools!
Our school staff are our friends, family, neighbors, and community members and we love them. We condemn the harassment. We recognize negative attention-seeking when we see it, and we are the majority. We’re disgusted and embarrassed by the campaign of negativity and the spread of propaganda.
THANK YOU to our teachers, and other school district staff, who dedicate their lives to making kids’ lives better. This community stands with you and has your back. We KNOW how great you are. Thank you for hanging in there and I hope you enjoy every moment of your well-earned Spring Break.
If you are the parent of a child attending Tillamook County schools and are so inclined, please take a moment to thank your local school staff who drive them to school, feed them, listen to their stories, teach them, and care about them. Please let them know they are appreciated. Sometimes we take them for granted, but they are under tremendous pressure and could really use a little encouragement.
Together we can drown out the hate and nastiness. That’s what communities do! We the People of Tillamook County look out for each other.