By Rep. Mike Sanders
I want to welcome students, teachers, staff and administrators, both in our public and private schools, back to a new school year.
It’s an exciting and a perhaps a bit of a nervous time of year as young people anticipate entering new classrooms, with the challenge of learning new information and acquiring new skills. They no doubt will be happy to reconnect with old friends but will be making some new acquaintances as well. They’ll be getting to know new teachers and new routines. They might need a little extra grace and rest as they get back into the swing of things.
Parents likely will be breathing a happy sigh of relief that a long summer has come to an end. Before long, though, the school fundraisers, the sports schedules, the homework and the constant buzz of activity that surrounds the school year will help dull that feeling of euphoria. Be prepared.
This should be a great year for our students, teachers and administrators. Last year, the Legislature voted in the second pay raise in a row for our teachers. This is hoped to help curb the teacher shortage and encourage new recruits to this field. It’s proven that a highly qualified teacher is one of the top factors in student success. I certainly appreciate the great teachers we have in our House District, and I want to encourage others to consider this profession.
The Legislature also gave more money to the school funding formula this year to aid in the support of our classrooms and for other needs decided by our local school boards. And, we fully funding the Reading Sufficiency Act to help students who struggle with reading.
While teachers are certainly key to a child’s success, parents play an even greater role. Teaching your child to enjoy learning at home at an early age is of great importance. A love of learning can be fostered through keeping a good supply of age-appropriate books and learning games on hand; taking time to sit down with your child in the evening to talk about what they learned during the school day; ensuring they understand their homework and class assignments. Be available to your child if they have questions or concerns. Remember, what may seem like a small issue to you may seem very large your child’s mind. Having a parent reassure them goes a long way towards building a child’s confidence.
Please also take the time to get to know your child’s teachers and the administrators at your child’s school. Look over the books and materials your child will be using this school year. If you have concerns, first approach your child’s teacher.
Seek ways you can help in your child’s schools. Maybe they need a hand in the library or the lunchroom. Maybe they need some extra supplies in your child’s classroom. Stay involved in athletics, art, band or other activities in which your child is involved.
Keep an eye out for school zones and buses. Safety on our roadways is critical during the school year to keep our young lives safe.
Finally, have some fun. School can be one of the great joys in life. In addition to all that is learned, it can be a time of creating great memories. Have a blessed and safe school year.
If I can help you in any way, I can be reached at (405) 557-7407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.