By Rachel Paxton
The following is a letter I wrote to our school district in appreciation of one of our daughter's teachers. Take a moment to think of a teacher who has made a difference in your child's life, and write a letter. Tell your school district how you feel. Help change our society's attitudes toward childhood education, one letter at a time.
Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to chaperone Hanford Middle School students at the Mid-Columbia Science Fair, and I couldn't help but notice how well represented Hanford Middle School was at this exciting all-day event. It was hard not to notice that Hanford was one of the only Tri-City middle schools that participated. A number of Hanford students brought home some outstanding awards. What an achievement!
It is my opinion that Hanford's involvement at the Mid-Columbia Science Fair is largely due to efforts of Hanford Middle School science teacher Laurie Eaton. Mrs. Eaton is one of the few teachers who requires her students to complete a science project, which can then be entered in the Hanford and Mid-Columbia Science Fairs. While many of the students (and parents) go into the projects with some reluctance at the time and effort required to complete such a project, I have no doubt that most students leave the science fairs with a great sense of accomplishment as the result of their efforts.
Mrs. Eaton walks her students through their science projects from beginning to end, ensuring a very valuable learning experience that will also benefit them in future academic endeavors. The value of these achievements can not be overemphasized. It hasbeen my experience, however, that parents and students alike often give teachers such as Mrs. Eaton a hard time because of the time and effort she requires of her students, especially at the sixth-grade level.
Kids are never too young to be taught how to learn, and a parent would be hard pressed to give their child more academic challenges than they could handle. When our children complain about too much homework or we as parents don't take the time out of our busy lives to sit down with our kids and help them with challenging assignments, it's easy to blame teachers for expecting so much of our children. But who really ends up being hurt?
So many kids leave high school with no sense of who they are and what they want to be when they grow up. They are never too young to work hard and be expected to do their best in school, and in life, for that matter. Our daughter has set some pretty lofty goals for herself, and the only way she will be able to accomplish those goals is if she starts working very hard towards those goals--and now, in the sixth grade. My husband and I don't push our daughter to succeed, she pushes herself. She knows her goals are hers and hers alone, and that accomplishing them will benefit herself and others, earning her the self confidence lacking in so many kids today. That is the attitude we should be instilling in our children, and Mrs. Eaton is one of the few teachers I can personally rely on to teach our daughter at school as much as we teach her at home.
Thank you for your time, and thank you for investing in our child's future by hiring teachers that really make a difference in her life.
cc: school district superintendent
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