This August, I will put on a mask and pack a personal bottle of hand sanitizer in my teacher bag next to my favorite grading pens. I will come back to the classroom because it is the most important space where I can make a difference. I will return as a teacher every fall for the foreseeable future because of the challenge, not in spite of it. Books will be loved by the right reader without my tutelage, but I will not be the same without the opportunity to teach.
As parents we are frequently told about the importance of reading aloud to our children. It’s not just important to developing early literacy skills, it also can have a significant impact on behavior and empathy. But it doesn’t have to stop once they are able to break out the chapter books and read to themselves. While studies and experts agree that there are additional benefits to reading to older children, including increasing fluency, vocabulary, and overall reading success, reading aloud to our big kids goes beyond academics.
Listening to audiobooks hasn’t replaced our family’s love for the written word; it has enhanced it.
Private or public, parochial or charter, we’re all in this together. We are not enemies; we should instead see each other as partners. Teachers have the power to change lives. Let’s help each other do it.
Lutheran education has it flaws, just like everything else, but I knew then and there that I wanted to remain where Christ crucified is the main thing. I want my children to remain where Christ crucified is the main thing.
While we asked for a lot of feedback and extra evaluation, all of the teachers involved refused to tell us what we should do. Despite our son’s tears and insistence that he stay with his friends (and my husband’s many reservations), we gave him that extra year and it continues to make a huge difference. And while our son started the school year saying that he was going to just skip kindergarten and move right on to first grade, I believe that he will be incredibly successful (and happy) with his current classmates once they are all in kindergarten next year.