The Gray Line Tour: Our teachers deserve respect

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 21, 2002


Last Wednesday, the St. Charles Parish School Board recognized long-time employees with service awards – pins recognizing service of 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years. The mind boggled.

Education as a career is a hard one, with rewards more often than not intangible. However, in most cases, people who make it that long talk about their “calling” for teaching and their determination to help the coming generations succeed.

Besides, to continue to work as a teacher for any length of time requires that person to keep up with developments in t heir field and the technology needed to teach that information.

Forty years ago, the internet did not exist, nor barely conceived outside the pages of science fiction. The computer revolution has forced many teachers to adapt or find themselves dinosaurs while the world passes them by. Thankfully, those truly committed teachers with the “calling” do adapt and our children are not shortchanged.

History teachers have it rough. Consider how much history has flowed past in 40 years. Now, consider having to teach that history to school children. From Vietnam to Watergate, from the fall of Communism to the fall of the Twin Towers, and presidents from John Kennedy to George W. Bush, the sweep of history in the past four decades is astonishing. Yet, our teachers have the vital function of communicating, explaining and making clear such events.

A successful, long-term teacher is a treasure to any school, bringing perspective, knowledge and understanding, and well worth their pay.

LEONARD GRAY is assistant managing editor of L’Observateur.