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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/2/09

Public school teachers are the unsung heroes in this society

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Message Mary MacElveen
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As I write this column, I am still floating high on a pink-cloud after watching my son perform in a school play last night.  What I witnessed was a group of young men and women perform at the same level of those who perform on Broadway.


The two teachers who auditioned these outstanding performers, practiced their parts with them and presented them to all of us are to be heralded.  I must say that not only did this group of young performers rock, but so did the teachers.  They formed a tight bond leading up to this play, “A Bad Year for Tomatoes” and hopefully, this bond will continue on.


Before last night’s second performance, a group of parents of those performing in this wonderful play including yours truly fed them a feast in celebration of all of our children along with these two wonderful teachers.  It was a celebratory atmosphere and we were there to celebrate them.  It is kind of nice to celebrate something in an era where we are faced with so many problems.


A few weeks ago, these two marvelous teachers took the cast on an outing to a Broadway play, “Billy Elliot” to experience the multi-faceted texture which makes up the proud profession called acting and my son came home filled with animation and excitement.  I am left to wonder if any of these fine high school actors will pursue acting as a career, but at least they got a taste of it.


In retrospect, I suppose the same experience is felt by parents clear across this country seeing their child act so professionally in a high school play.  In any of these wonderful performances, you as a parent sit in awe.  As any parent, you are so proud of your child’s accomplishments.  I know that I am.


The teachers who are able to mold the minds of our next generation is awe inspiring.  Public school teachers are the unsung heroes in this society and as one looks upon the captains of industry, namely Wall Street executives, teachers beat them hands down.  As teachers teach, they look to be the solution makers and that to me is meritorious.


Teachers also help mold the minds of their students to see that the world is truly their oyster.  As one views and reads of a world filled with negativity, often teachers through our children’s accomplishments help us see the other side of the coin.  Quite frankly, they can be our ‘Miracle workers’.


This does not solely occur with those who teach drama, it is replicated by those teachers who teach our children math, science, history and coach our children in any number of sports teams.  If I forgot any subject, please forgive.


When I read any letter to the editor in my local newspaper (Newsday), complaining about the wages and benefits teachers make, I would love to confront the letter writer by asking: “Who exactly is with our children from early in the morning to at times late at night and then goes home to grade their tests, homework assignments, create lesson plans and yes stay with them as they perform on stage?” Teachers do!


I would say this same level of praise of teachers should be bestowed upon guidance councilors who help plan our children’s day-to-day learning experience and help plan their lives going forward.  My children’s guidance councilor, I have often said after coming out of his office, “Miracles happen here” and they do.  Besides being a great councilor, he is one hell of a singer.  Ah, Broadway’s loss is truly our gain as parents.


When I hear the argument we do not make and produce anything within our country: One only has to look upon the faces of our children to know that is not so.  Thanks to teachers, guidance councilors and other educators, our children come out of these wonderful public schools with a zest for life and if given a chance by the rest of us will reach the moon and back.


As I see politicians quibble over the cost of educating our children, come close and I will certainly tell any of you that putting funds into our public schools is truly priceless.  These children as they enter these public schools clear across America are diamonds in the rough and thanks to teachers, they turn out gems of the highest quality.


This morning, I ask: Where will this great troop of actors go in their life?  Sorry, I do not have a crystal ball, but what I do know is that two teachers were the ones who showed them anything and I mean anything is at least possible.  These two outstanding teachers presented to me, a side of my son I never knew existed and that is pure magic.


To these two wonderful teachers as well as the cast and crew of this marvelous performance, “A Bad Year for Tomatoes”, all I will say is bravo for a job well done.  If there were a ‘Tony Award’ for high school performances, all of you are deserving of it.


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I am a writer who currently writes pieces for my own blog I have been published by, and I was a guest on the Jay Diamond Radio Show on WRKO in Boston and have (more...)
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