What schools really need

Rhett Breedlove
Posted 5/8/24

And right when we begin to get fully used to it, another school year is nearing its end. It truly feels as if yesterday we were talking about headed back to school, now here we are talking about …

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What schools really need


And right when we begin to get fully used to it, another school year is nearing its end. It truly feels as if yesterday we were talking about headed back to school, now here we are talking about graduation and summer vacation yet again.

It would be more than reasonable to say the school district certainly saw its share of changes this year. A fair number of district teachers and staff graciously stepped aside for retirement last year, while a pretty healthy number of new staff came on board to try their hand at molding minds for the future.

Athletics within Goshen County certainly made their mark this year, while FFA, FBLA, music, theatre and art once again revealed talent, education and intellectual freedom are alive and well.

New teachers also played an integral part in the amount of academic progress made this year. And yes there was and always will be progress. Almost everywhere this unusual reporter looked for nine straight months, there was another educator somewhere dedicating their personal time and effort to another community project/fundraiser; all for the sake of bettering the next one in line.

If there is one thing to be said, despite the immensely different opinions over how this or that went this school year, believe it or not lessons were learned and progress was definitely made.

If there was one thing to be noticed more than anything this year, perhaps it is an almost unspoken awareness of what it is students and teachers need to succeed.

Let’s be honest for one minute. For any of us to truly be happy in where we are each day whether it be at home, school or work there really is only one thing we all need to be successful.

It’s not rocket science and its quite honestly very simple.


When we can go about our daily lives, the one thing which seems to have a profound effect on whether we have a good day or not is the fact that we feel support and even appreciation from those around us. It is by far the best feeling in the world when we have to go pursue our careers or jobs each day, and we feel the people we work with or for have our backs in everything we need.

This of course is when we can start relating.

Quite the contrary when we feel we are being constantly micromanaged, criticized, overworked and underappreciated things are never going to work out well in the long term.

Trust and respect go an awful long way at work and school. When each of us feel we have it amongst our peers and coworkers, in a perfect world we would never have to interview for another job again. Money and benefits are crucial yes, but they only go so far in the long run and people simply cannot be bought off for a extensive period of time. For a little while yes, but never if we are thinking ahead on things.

This is when we turn our attention towards our educators, supporting staff and students.

Truth be told they need trust, support, respect and appreciation more than anyone. The absolute last thing a student or teacher needs from anyone is micromanagement or unnecessary criticism.

And they certainly do not deserve blatant disrespect from anyone.

Make no mistake every teacher is passionate about their job, and deep down every student wants to learn as much as they can and have fun doing it while they are still in school.

As these bulgy eyes were able to see quite recently; a fair number of teachers, administrators and parents were able to sit down together peacefully and diplomatically to express ideas, concerns or simple thoughts on how things are presently going in our school district.

For the most part the discussion was realistically everything it should be. There were plenty of positive things which should always be pointed out, while without pointing fingers an acknowledgment of areas where there is potential for improvement.

Let us be remindful to ourselves, there is always going to be room for improvement. Perfection will never be attained so we can all relax on that one.

Of course when it came to certain topics, assured individuals felt much more passionately about them than others. Point of fact, it is always wise to pay close attention to someone who feels strongly about a certain topic.

Especially when it comes to the support and well-being of students and teachers.

In recent years there has been somewhat of a concern over what is currently being taught in schools, and who has a right to decide what should or should not be taught. History, literature and science have all come into play on this topic for a few years now.

Now of course we could argue until the cows come home about this particular topic, but there is one thing that can’t ever be denied.

The truth is the truth and always will be.

Teachers want and should be able to do their jobs while teaching their curriculums without being micromanaged or hassled every step of the way. 

What a great teacher truly wants is to reach their students, and share with them something they themselves feel strongly about. With any luck they can pass the very same passion and knowledge onto at least one of their students as someone once did for them. Their jobs are to provoke some serious thought and effort from our students.

Now there is always common sense when it comes to age groups. Certainly first graders need to be learning to read, and they need to be learning basic addition and subtraction. And when it comes to science, yes children the can of soda will make a mess when you decide to vigorously shake it then open it.

Moving on it does not matter if it is math, science, history, English, Spanish, P.E., geography or art. Each and every subject has a value and should not ever, ever be taken away from a student or teacher.

Even more so when it has to do with the “personal feelings” of a few, and not the needs and wants of those who are in there working their tails off.

Our job is to let educators educate, and let students learn. As time goes by our students will take everything they have learned from parents, teachers, activities and subjects and will have finally have something called a mind of their own.

When someone has a mind of their own, amazing things start to happen.

A person simply can’t have this if they feel no support or encouragement to do a job they were hired to do; a job they know how to do, were trained to do and educated to do.

Teachers must be allowed to teach, and students must be allowed to learn.

It’s all a part of the one thing we all value more than anything else, and that is called freedom.

The right and freedom to an education.