A friend who teaches in a nearby school district shared a story with me that your readers may appreciate.
A student of his was losing ground academically, his work poor, his grades declining. Concerned, my friend approached his student to discuss the situation and what could be done to help his student get back on track. The discussion was not satisfactory, the young man vague and noncommittal.
My friend was troubled by some of the things his student had said, and, after reflecting on the conversation, he concluded that his student might be at risk for depression, perhaps even suicide.
He referred the matter to the school counselor, who evaluated the teen. It turned out that the student was depressed and was in fact contemplating suicide, even going so far as to have developed a plan to carry it out. To make a long story short, the youth is safe and is being helped by the responsible adults in his life. A caring teacher took prompt action; a trained counselor followed up; a potential tragedy was averted.
This is a heartwarming story for sure. But it is more than that. It is just one example of the important deeds that teachers do every day, deeds that seldom make the news. From preschool to high school, professionally trained, dedicated educators routinely go above and beyond classroom instruction to make sure their students -- our children -- are safe, secure, and headed in positive directions.
Thank you, teachers.
Will Underwood, Kent