The new school year recently got under way, but we haven’t heard much from or about Kauai’s teachers. That’s probably because they’re too busy educating the island’s children and young adults, one of the most important jobs around.
Kauai is blessed to have some of the best teachers, from the kindergarten level to high school and community college. These folks start their days early, finish late, and spend hours of their time at home preparing lessons, correcting papers and Lord knows hundreds of other behind-the-scenes tasks which most people don’t even know about. And they do all this not for great wealth, vast riches and early retirement. As they say, nobody goes into teaching for the money. They do so because they care about today’s youth and want them to do well in the future. They will tell you it’s seeing a child master something, understand something, see something in a new light, that is their greatest reward.
So, what are some of these chores teaches silently take on? What are just a few of the things teachers do to ensure the success of their students: Here are just a few:
– Logging many extra hours and not receiving even a single thank you.
– Buying supplies and equipment for the classrooms with their own money.
– Extra requirements and tasks placed upon them without extra compensation.
– Continuing education. They learn more, so their students can learn more, too.
– Keeping a diverse range of parents happy.
– Educating students of all abilities in one setting.
So why bring this up?
We bring this up because, with a new school year ahead, we don’t want our teachers to feel worn out and underappreciated. We don’t want them to think that nobody is noticing that they work hard, that they give much of their lives to bettering this island’s youth. We certainly don’t want them to become discouraged. And we certainly don’t want them to leave their profession. Teachers, generally, are a very dedicated group who remain committed to helping children become their best. And that, these days, is perhaps more challenging than ever before.
If you get the chance, thank a teacher for a job well done and let them know you appreciate their good work.
This quote by the great football coach Vince Lombardi is perhaps a fitting tribute to Kauai’s teachers:
“After all the cheers have died down and the stadium is empty, after the headlines have been written, and after you are back in the quiet of your room and the championship ring has been placed on the dresser and after all the pomp and fanfare have faded, the enduring thing that is left is the dedication to doing with our lives the very best we can to make the world a better place in which to live.”