Supt. John Jarpe: The importance of teachers

Published 10:06 pm Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The first days of school are always exciting, hopeful times. Teachers, administrators, parents and students all want this year to start off successfully and keep on that way all the way to June.

The people who have the most effect on that happening are the teachers.

Research has shown that younger students who have strong, effective teachers for consecutive years will develop good learning habits and have great chances to experience academic success in future years. Students who have ineffective teachers for two years in a row face an uphill battle. So, the more effective teachers a student has year after year, the better that student will do in school and likely in life.

Last week, we had a nationally known consultant work with our staff at Brandywine. Dr. Debbie Silver emphasized the impact a strong teacher has on students, and the positive effects a caring teacher will have for the rest of their lives. Debbie reminded us of the critical work we do for many future lives and for our country.

She emphasized the pride teachers should take in their work, and they all should stand up proudly and assert: “I am a teacher!”

People can all remember their best teachers. They were the ones who genuinely cared about them.

In September 1956, a scared little boy started first grade. He had barely been to kindergarten; he didn’t know his ABCs; he couldn’t even tie his own shoes; and he could never cut straight or color inside the lines.

That little boy was me, and a caring, great teacher, Mrs. Burkland, took me farther than I ever thought I could go. I’ve been back in school as a student, teacher, principal or superintendent every September since then.

Parents, I hope your kids’ school year has started off well, and I hope you remind teachers of your hopes, dreams and expectations, and that you appreciate the work they do and how much it makes a difference.