If you've ever watched a talented teacher teach, this editorial will make sense to you.
For over a decade, I was able to substitute teach, and I gained an immense appreciation for the ability most local teachers have to transfer knowledge - and in many cases a love for that knowledge, to their students.
Just sit in Paul Seare's choir classes and listen as he gives kids the tools for them to hear where a note should be, then reach it and give it feeling.
Go to Shannon Shuman's or Geniel Seamons' elementary classes and witness their ability to keep the attention of dozens of seven and eight year-olds as they talk about anything from math to spelling, to history and geography. They share not only knowledge, but the joy of learning with their students.
Every teacher in Preston Junior High's science department has found a way to engage their students in their subject matter. The in-class animals and projects they use connect their students to the world they live in. Their classes are always full of students who soak up the love those teachers have for not just science, but the kids themselves. They even take the time to help kids advance in the Scouting program as they complete science projects.
Of course, these men and women are not the only marvelous instructors teaching local children. There are many, many more.
The time and love these people dedicate beyond the time frame of their classes, would make a CEO in any other business.
The Idaho Legislature has improved teacher salaries over the last few years, but let's go a step further and let's get out of their way. Let's let teachers teach.
These people don't go into their profession with dollar signs in their eyes. That's obvious as most of them have a spouse working full-time or hold down second jobs themselves.
They go in to the profession because they LOVE watching a child LEARN something they know is important for them understand.
Unfortunately, top-down regulations and requirements have hand-cuffed the brilliant ideas and methods many teachers have for transferring their knowledge to our youth. There are even policies being adopted that remove hands-on experience out of science. Some connections can not be made with the pages of a book, nor the clicks of a mouse.
Silly idealogies born of litigation, a society full of people and parents who'd rather let the schools parent their children, and dangerously intolerant, narrow or uneducated political views and behavior have crept into public education's governing bodies.
Kudos to our teachers who do their best to balance the non-teaching requirements foisted upon them by government agencies and still find enough joy to stay in the public school system.
Ask a teacher today what would help them teach your child and let local and state school boards know what you think.