The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

August 15, 2013

Our View: Where learning begins

— A new school year begins today for many in our area, and it’s a far cry from the first day of school that many of us remember.

The iPad is replacing the textbook, interactive whiteboards have replaced the chalkboards and technology drives the discussion in board of education meetings.

There’s nothing wrong with that, in our view, as long as school districts remember that learning begins with the teacher.

Based on recent conversations with our readers, here are three qualities we think are needed for a teacher to be successful:

1. Curiosity: Good teachers are ones who are always learning something themselves. Individuals who stopped learning when they received their diplomas will not be able to guide their students to excellence.

2. Commitment: Some may choose to teach, but those who make the best teachers are committed to teaching. They’ve been teaching their entire life both in and out of the classroom. It’s what they are meant to do in this life.

3. Courage: Great teachers may not wear capes, but for some children they will be superheroes. These are the kind of teachers who have the fortitude and the conviction to help remove barriers from children’s life that may keep them from learning. These are the teachers who do what they can to make sure the children in the classroom have enough to eat, a warm coat and a safe place to live. Yes, these teachers still exist, and they are the ones we admire the most.

Great learning still begins with a great teacher. We wish for every child the chance to meet one today.

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