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School Crossing

By Guy Nahmiach

Education is on everyone’s lips. How to fund, how to raise scores what to improve ,where to build and how to make resources accessible to all students? In a time when our schools have became much more than a place for learning, we feed those that need feeding, we transport those that need transporting and keep for longer hours those that have an otherwise empty home to go to. But while our schools have been increasing the number of services they provide, we’ve moved away and have forgotten about the actual function of learning. The work of our teachers that have become surrogate moms and dad to many of our students. The essence of that function they serve. The education our young citizens so desperately need. We have moved away from recognizing the profession of teaching.

I was attending a Jeffco education conference when I heard a friend of mine get up and speak about the challenges in our schools and made a bold statement that stayed with me for a long time. The reduced level of parent involvement in our schools. So many of our parents slowing down to drop off their kids in the morning with their phones in their ears. The lack of involvement in the PTAs and Accountability committees. I write from experience as a past PTA president and accountability chairperson in a few of our local schools. The struggle for volunteer recruitment. A lending hand inside our classrooms for teachers overwhelmed with students not reading or writing at the level they should be. Children arriving at kindergarten with a less than needed number of words in their vocabulary and the inability to read basic sentences and demonstrate simple math skills.

We all lead busy lives, work many jobs and are faced with more challenges than ever before. We are told that our once neighborhood schools have now transformed into types of learning we’ve never heard of before – Expeditionary, Project based learning, etc. And while they sound wonderful to our educators, they are in fact alienating many parents further and make that possibility of volunteering a mountain that much higher to climb. How can we roll up our sleeves and help out without knowing what the goal is and why the actual goal keeps moving day to day? What are these new types of education models and how can parents get involved in the process? Why was the old one not working anymore? We need better methods of communicating with our families. Less barriers and more invitations from friendly faces.

But the basics remain the same, no matter the style of education. Put your phone down and read to your kid. This is going to be the biggest investment you can make. In a world where time has become a valuable commodity, we have less and less of it to share. But make that sacrifice and travel less, purchase less, entertain less and spend more time to read to your child and get involved in their education.

Our Freshmen (ninth grade) class at Wheat Ridge High school came in with almost half of them reading at a fifth grade level. It’s not the school they came from, or the one before that; it started at home where no one read to them. There is only so much “catching up” that can happen in a classroom, where a teacher has to share his or her time with 25 other kids. As opposed to one-on-one undivided attention at home.

The profession needs to be a viable option for students deciding on a career. While we know that teachers are caring and compassionate, let’s not forget that these educated professionals are also competent and committed to providing a day full of learning, critical thinking and plenty of reasons to be passionate about history, geography and even building satellites. But when the day is done and your child comes home, it’s your turn to pick up where teachers left off. Their future depends on it.

As always, thanks for reading.

Contact Guy Nahmiach at Guy@NostalgicHomes.Com or 303-999-5789.