It's American Education Week

It's American Education Week
Posted on 11/14/2017

American Education Week reminds us to celebrate the rights and responsibilities that are part and parcel of our public education system in the United States. Our strategic planning process in the Wausau School District during the 2017-2018 school year has been framed by our commitment to #Teach4Me. If you have not yet accessed #Teach4Me, search for it on Twitter. You will see a yearlong reflection of how teachers are teaching in ways that meet the needs of students, no matter their needs. You will see how students’ and teachers’ experiences reflect full appreciation of their rights and responsibilities. 

Our educators are showing incredible dedication to meeting the needs of individual students. When I refer to “our educators,” I want you to be clear that I am not talking solely about teachers. As we work to meet the unique needs of each student entering our schools, we may find that a given student’s needs are met by the relationship he/she has with a Nutrition Services employee. Every day, the student looks forward to breakfast or lunch because of the contact they have with this member of “our educator” force. It may be a custodian, a health aide, a School Resource Officer, a secretary, or an instructional aide. Of course, students find significant relationships with multiple teachers and administrators, while in school, in support of their shared rights and responsibilities.

Can you see how it takes all of us to ensure a commitment to #Teach4Me? There is one particular element of these rights and responsibilities with which I would like to finish my reflections. During American Education Week, please reach out to a member of “our educator” force to celebrate and express appreciation. Throughout my career, I have written personalized note cards to colleagues telling them specifically what I admire and specifically what I appreciate about the way they do their work. It is important that I am specific, beyond a general thank you. It is not uncommon, months later, to see that note card still tacked to a wall near their desk. “Our educators,” whether teachers, administrators, custodians, nutrition service workers, school resource officers, or secretaries all will greatly appreciate a note, an email, or a phone call. Let’s ensure our culture of rights and responsibilities includes a measure of gratitude. Each person does not need to be responsible for expressing gratitude for every “educator.”  Instead, extend your gratitude to one of “our educators.” With everyone reaching out to just one, we will reach many. Thank you for actively participating in American Education Week.

Dr. Mike Schwei, Interim Superintendent of Schools