Thank you, Randolph County Schools for a job well done

Teachers, staff, support personnel and administrators of Randolph County Schools seem to get criticism dumped on them all too often, and all too rarely do they receive words of appreciation. That is where I come into play. As a child, my mother was a board member, so I developed a greater sense of appreciation for those listed above.

Therefore, I would like to publicly thank Randolph County Schools, starting with the teachers I had all the way through those working today. When I heard all this negativity while my boys were very young, I remember saying, “I hope I have the same strong positive relationship with the school system after they graduate as I did (at that time).” I am very happy to say that I do. In appreciation, I would like to point out the positives. I felt I had to wait until my boys graduated to avoid accusations of impropriety.

Laying the most obvious and important point on the line — we hand you that which we hold most dear, our children. From preschool through high school, you have the most influence on them outside of our families. For most of their developmental years, you spend more waking hours with them than we do. Some people fail to understand how seriously you take this responsibility. You are molding the future of our children as well as our community.

In the early years, the teachers hug them, console them, praise them and teach them. Wow! As they get older, your guide them, teach them how to learn and work to keep them on the “straight and narrow.” You coach them, instill a love for the arts and help them develop socially.

Some in our community fail to understand learning takes place at home as much as in the classroom. I’ve heard numerous criticisms against teachers over the years. The complain that “Junior isn’t succeeding … it must be the teacher’s fault” is false. What is taught in the classroom is intended to be reinforced at home with parental oversight. We can’t hand them over to teachers expecting success. Instead parents must work with the teachers to help our children succeed. Communication is key to success.

Regarding sports, the coaches (for the most part) teach our children how to prepare to compete, how to work with others as a team as well as how to lose with grace. Certain parents would benefit greatly if they had this skill set.

Support staff work tirelessly with increasingly limited resources to keep the facilities in shape. I shudder to think how this is going to work without our levy. Administrators face increased responsibility with decreased help. They do an outstanding job given the dwindling resources. County leadership faces the impossible task of ultimate financial and administrative responsibility for the county with ever-decreasing funds. Having been on LSICs for nearly 25 years, it is my observation that in view of most counties having passed excess levies, the state is slashing funds across the board so as to send a message to those counties without levies, “you better pass a levy, or you’ll be unable to function without dramatic and painful cuts,” while always under the threat of a state takeover.

Lastly, the teachers do so much behind the scenes which goes unnoticed, unappreciated and undervalued. They share their food with children who do not have any. They seek or give resources for children who are struggling socially, developmentally, academically or simply are in need. They buy supplies out of their own pocket so these students can just get by. They tutor and mentor after hours, all on unpaid time.

In summary, before you criticize any of these people, first ask questions and learn that there is another side to the story. They don’t hate our children. They are not trying to make our children fail. They are not picking on our children. In fact, they are highly invested in our children’s success. The fact that they get a summer break is small in exchange for all the extra things they do during the school year.

Remember, they are among the most influential people in our children’s lives. Speaking personally, thank you very much for all you did for my boys.