It’s back to school season.
Some parents may be relieved that the summer is drawing to an end and their children will soon be out of the house and back in the classroom. But more importantly, back to school time is an opportunity to reflect on the impact education has on the lives of our children. While we should keep working to improve educational outcomes for all students, the opportunity for children to get an education is easy to take for granted in our country.
Throughout much of history, and still today in many parts of the world, it is something a lot of parents can only wish for their children.
Teachers across our state have been hard at work drawing up lesson plans and learning new strategies to help each child learn. Many of my family members have been teachers, including my sister Lois who taught in Hudson, Iowa, for more than 40 years. I know that it is a tough, but rewarding job. Teachers deserve the thanks of all Iowans for their dedication to the next generation of Iowans and Americans. Most people can remember particular teachers who had an especially big impact on their lives. I know that Mrs. Refshauge and Miss Schoonmaker played a big role in encouraging my interest in learning, and I give them a lot of credit for the path I took in life.
So, as Iowa children go off to the first day of school, let’s all remember to thank the teachers. More than that, I encourage parents to get to know their children’s teachers and ask what they can do to reinforce at home what is happening in the classroom. Even though parents may entrust their children’s education to their teachers during the school day, parental engagement after school and on weekends is crucial to a child’s success. As parents and grandparents, we have the responsibility and the opportunity to require study skills, healthy habits and a commitment to success in school. After all, that’s what education is all about -- helping children achieve to their potential.
Here’s wishing all Iowa teachers and students a productive and enriching school year.