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Kate Gibbs Headshot

Let's Educate Ourselves on the Field of Education

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Prior to my recent experiences in the public system, my perceptions of the field of education and its responsibilities were tremendously under-appreciated. To have the actual knowledge and experience to fully understand what good education entails is an involved process, far more complex than simply watching a documentary like Waiting for Superman. It is a plethora of knowledge for which schooling could take a lifetime. Here, I would like to share an effort to simplify and translate the extremely complicated and sometimes confusing topic often in the news for some of our younger readers. I would like to address three main areas which impact the decision making process for citizens of a democracy.

First of all, educators themselves are pillars of society. They are dedicated individuals who have chosen a career path to forgo the private sector financial gain educate our youth and serve the community. The majority of public school teachers and administrators in the United States are committed individuals who have chosen an extremely challenging career path critical to the future of our nation. The past years have shown me that the role of a public school teacher is one of the most challenging that exists. In fact, the ten month school year is so intense and demanding that teachers need two summer months just to prepare for the following year. And yet teachers are paid lower than most in private sector jobs (many teachers must keep a second job) and government mandates continue to increase the workload and reduce the few benefits of such a selfless career path. While the responsibilities of this position might seem intense enough to serve as the solution, it is most certainly not enough. Hillary Clinton was spot on when she wrote It Takes a Village to Raise a Child.

Aside from the importance of teachers, it is common knowledge that the most vital ingredient in a child's education is the home. If a child does not have a supportive home, he or she cannot learn his best in school. It is not only the responsibility of the school to provide an education for a child, it is the responsibility of parents to provide a solid foundation for a child's life, in which supporting that child's education is paramount. A dysfunctional home of absentee parental support or a negative environment can hinder a child's ability to make the most of his education. The emotional and tactical support of a functional family is an imperative element in a child's education.

Thirdly, the support of the government and administration is vital in providing a high quality education. If adequate funding, and fair, and balanced management is provided for teachers, they can properly serve our children. The lack of providing educators with sufficient salaries and benefits, supplies and support, and manageable class sizes hurts everyone, especially our children. Actual time spent on the system's ground floor will have a positive effect on the perspective of voters and politicians alike. It will educate everyone in a manner which will benefit our system's effectiveness and therefore our children and society's future. Decisions which impact so many must be fully informed and full comprehension of what is happening in our classrooms demands firsthand knowledge. There are many well-informed and dedicated leaders who support teachers and make positive decisions on our school systems. However, there are many misinformed and yet dedicated leaders who are not as knowledgeable as they should be. Every politician might want to consider spending just one week in one of our nation's neediest classrooms as they formulate decisions which impact the educational system. Perhaps then, officials will make better informed decisions on the situations and compensation of those who hold some of the world's most important jobs that exists: our children's teachers and school administrators.

If we as a society can provide all children with the tools, resources, and guidance to succeed, we can significantly improve our world for future generations. Education and empowerment combined has the potential to impact all the other issues we face as a global society. The majority of the world does not have access to quality education. These educational issues we face are not just domestic, they are global. If you educate a child with family involvement and support, you can change lives and transform the world. Any politician or leader I support will consider these factors in his work, including that of the interests of the teachers and administrators, and I hope you will do the same.