It is textbook adoption time at Chesterton High School and as we wade through the choices from various publishers, I am reminded of just how much goes into the teaching profession today.
No longer does a teacher stand in front of a class making his or her way through a textbook. “Adopting a textbook,” means deciding on a book bundle as well as taking into consideration additional reading materials, online resources, technical compatibility, the alignment of assessments with state and local standards, and what the school can afford. A textbook choice must also be compatible with the school’s learning management and assessment systems.
Although textbooks are an integral part of a curriculum, the core functions of a teacher cannot be replaced. The Indiana legislature, governor, state department of education, and state board of education continually adjust educational standards and assessments. Professional educators spend a great deal of valuable time just trying to keep up with what the state expects of them. In this last session alone, the legislature passed at least twenty new laws dealing with how schools should operate. This does not include the time needed to keep up with subject- and grade-level specific information nor the ever-evolving array of electronic devices designed to facilitate learning.
“One-size-fits-all” lesson planning is a thing of the past. Today, a teacher must consider students with a variety of learning styles from increasingly diverse backgrounds and accommodate students with special needs, both physical and emotional.
Building positive relationships with students and parents is an important component for the success of each student. Although many parents work with their children to help them be successful, there are times when the teacher and the parent need to work together to help students navigate through challenges during their educational career. Many students are able to overcome difficulties through early intervention and open communication between teachers and parents.
Many facets of the teaching profession are challenging and as we approach Teacher Appreciation Week (May 5-9), please take the opportunity to thank the men and women who have dedicated themselves to one of the most important professions we have – the education of our children.
This column solely represents the writer's opinion.