In school terms, it's a new year.
And, with that comes renewed hope and new skills, knowledge, goals and adventures.
As school begins, I unfold my annual pep talk and plea to the community of parents, family and friends to get involved with our schools.
I always adored going to and being at school. While not an A+ student, I did well and always looked up to my teachers.
In that arena, not much has changed. I'm still a huge fan of teachers; maybe even more so now that my daughter is a student.
From the moment she stepped on campus in kindergarten, I eagerly jumped in to help.
I assisted in cutting, pasting, decorating, reading, sorting, photocopying, handing out snacks, organizing -- whatever the teacher needed. Their focus should be on their students, not sharpening pencils. While I dabbled in the volunteer arena in Room 1 that year, I learned a lot along the way.
I was astonished to see how much a teacher has to fit into a day, the juggling of varied learners, the sad back stories they take on, the hoops they jump through and the sometimes long hours they often "donate" to make the class fulfilling, enriching and joyful.
I'm not sure when public opinion turned against teachers. At one point, it was considered an admirable and giving profession. Yes, there are still many, like me, who utterly respect instructors and the difficulties thrown at them daily.
And, yet, so much of the blame for low scores,
This is a partnership between parents/guardians and the instructors.
Yes, there are clearly -- as I like to call them -- lumps out there. What profession doesn't have its share of weak links?
Yet, overwhelmingly, I've seen an abundance of patient gems in action shining down on gifted and struggling students alike.
While vaccinations and assessment testing are required in schools, I wish "mandatory volunteering" was on the list, too.
An oxymoron of a term, to be sure, but if more folks could spend a little time in a classroom, they'd walk away with a new perspective.
Volunteering not only gives teachers much-needed help, it gives parents (and the like) a chance to see their child in action, get to know their friends, see lessons firsthand and observe the style of learning.
That catch phrase of "the more you know ..." couldn't be truer when it comes to helping your school.
While not everyone has oodles of time on their hands to pitch in, do what you can. It may take a bit of doing but oh the benefits. Take a morning off work, meet with the teacher after school, grab a project to take home, join the parent-teacher club, donate supplies. Just get in there somehow, some way.
You'll reap the rewards and so will your child.
Contact Trine Gallegos at firstname.lastname@example.org.