It is far too easy to get all caught up in education “stuff’ that in the long run, doesn’t really matter so much. (Include me in this group sometimes.) But we fret about what happens at the state department of education, maybe even in Washington with the U.S. department of education. We wring our hands about whether we should have an appointed or elected state school board.
However, education is all about what happens between dedicated teachers and their students in thousands of classrooms throughout Alabama. There are no classrooms at the state department, at the statehouse where the legislature meets or even in the great education bureaucracy in Washington.
Liz Hill is an excellent principal—and a good friend. She works at Bear Elementary in Montgomery. A super school. She recently was on leave for medical reasons and when she came back to school, she found the note above from a fourth-grader.
It is a wonderful reminder of what is really and truly important. The interaction between students and the adults in their building.
Like all good schools I know, there is a culture of expectations at Bear. It is a happy place where smiles and laughter are common. With less than 500 students, it has 800 PTA members who go above and beyond for this faculty and students.
Probably 95 percent of all the educators I know tell me they were “called” to work with children. As a child they sat their brothers and sisters down and was their teacher. They arranged their toys on the bed and read to them.
And bless their hearts, they ignore the noise coming from the state department and the legislature and do all they can to better the lives of the young people in their classrooms and schools.
Right now, state superintendent Eric Mackey is promoting another state strategic plan. But long after it gathers dust in schools and is discarded, notes like the one above will be remembered and cherished.
Which is the way it should be.