Most Recent Superintendent Article

  • Teachers Are Superheroes

    Posted by Dr. Mike Ewton on 5/5/2023

    Superheroes are often associated with extraordinary abilities and the determination to overcome any obstacle. This May during Teacher Appreciation Week, we celebrate a group of professionals who embody these qualities. Educators accept the noble task of helping to build our nation’s future by educating our most valuable resource, our children. One week of recognition each year is simply not enough. Our educators deserve continuous support, encouragement, and respect. 

    As I travel around the district and see the incredible work teachers do every day, I am repeatedly reminded that teachers are superheroes. Teaching is challenging work, and teachers meet that challenge head-on. Regardless of the life circumstances or differing abilities students bring to school with them, teachers find a way to serve everyone who comes through the door. Assessing where students are academically and finding ways to fulfill individual needs, teachers also juggle many other things that compete for their planning and instructional time. Ever-changing curricular standards, legislative mandates, administrative duties, and paperwork are a few of the daily non-instructional tasks teachers take on. 

    Teachers accept these challenges and work for less money than they could make with similar educational backgrounds and qualifications in the private sector. One would be hard-pressed to find a teacher who doesn’t work long hours and non-paid days grading papers, designing instructional materials, and coordinating extracurricular activities. 

    The best educators teach because they love children and are passionate about helping them succeed. Teachers make a lifelong difference that can even affect future generations' educational and career trajectories. Teachers embrace learning and instill that love of learning in their students.

    Research shows that effective teaching impacts student learning more than any other factor in the classroom. Teachers make the most significant difference in student outcomes. By building relationships, addressing student needs, and designing innovative instruction, teachers instill confidence, inspire achievement, and encourage exploration. 

    As a school system, a community, and a state, we must support teachers and their profession to ensure we have passionate and professional educators in our schools for generations to come. Teacher pay and benefits are always topics that arise in teacher retention discussions. We are grateful that the governor’s approved budget includes another $2,000 annual raise for teachers and an increase for other school employees. To ensure we can keep the best teachers in our schools long-term, we must also be diligent in maintaining the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia. 

    Beyond pay and benefits, teacher professional development opportunities are essential. The best teachers are lifelong learners. As a school system, we must ensure they receive updated instructional training, planning time, and collaboration opportunities with colleagues. 

    Earlier this week, I had the privilege of attending a ceremony, similar to athletic scholarship signing events. Twenty-five outstanding high school seniors were honored as they committed to the pursuit of a career in education. It is more than fitting that the aspiring teachers’ signing ceremony comes at the same time of year as retirement receptions for veteran teachers. It is a bitter-sweet balance to celebrate those who have done so much for our students for so long while we get a glimpse into the future of the profession.

    It has been said that "A good education can change anyone. A good teacher can change everything.” Teachers are real-life superheroes, so thank them for all they do.

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