Kudos to teachers

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Today, 20 teachers from Warren County’s public and private schools will be honored by the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce for excellence in the classroom.

Two of them — one elementary teacher and one secondary teacher — will be honored as teachers of the year; the best of the best, according to those who interviewed the candidates and reviewed their recommendations and their resumes.

But in essence, all the finalists for the honor sitting in the meeting room at the Vicksburg Convention Center, and many other teachers who will be in their classes working with students while the chamber program is going on, are teachers of the year.

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Given the changes in society over the past 20 years, teachers and schools have had to assume greater roles in the lives of the children they work with on a daily basis. Besides being educators, teachers today have to be counselors, advisers and mentors to the young people who sit in their classes daily.

They have to work with a variety of personalities and be able to handle each individual in such a way that they are able to help the child learn, whether the subject is English, math or art. They have to inspire reluctant young minds to accomplish goals they thought they could never reach, help those who may need that extra assistance to understand what to them is a complex matter.

The reward for the teachers’ efforts many times is not the incentive raise many corporations hand out for excellent work. It’s the excitement of seeing the look on the face of that “problem student” as they catch on to that math problem that perplexed them for so long, or seeing the joy of the class as they accomplish a feat together.

Many of the teachers honored today, and many others who will still be in the classroom, will have an impact on one or more students that they will be remembered long after the child becomes an adult and looks back on their years in high school or elementary school because of the experience that student had in the classroom.

The chamber’s program is one way the community recognizes our educators, and it should be commended. But we should remember that today’s honorees represent a larger group of individuals who have a difficult task and do it well.