Passing on the tradition of teaching

Published 9:14 pm Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One of the many things I enjoy about working in my hometown is not only seeing people I grew up with, but also seeing who they have become as adults.

It is always gratifying to go to our local schools and see some of the smartest people I knew in school who became teachers themselves and continue to influence today’s children, perhaps to become teachers as well.

People like Tammy Spruell, Elizabeth Renner, Loretta Moore, Mary Stuedeman, Jennifer Clem, Amelia Mackey and many others represented our school system well as students and continue to do so as teachers.

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Teaching is more than telling students to read a book or write a report. Each one of us learns things in a different way, and providing so many individual students with a means of learning something takes a special talent. I can tell you how I solve algebraic equations, read music or write a story, but to do so in a way where you can remember it well, in your own way — multiplied by however many students these teachers instruct — would take a great talent teamed with a lot of patience and a desire to teach and make a difference in education.

Who among our current students will be the next to return to Demopolis classrooms as teachers? Who will see the work that their own teachers do, see the result of that hard work and ask themselves if they want to play such an important role not just for children, but for the children of Demopolis?

Teaching is an honorable and laudable profession, and it says a lot when former students return to their schools as teachers. The next time you go to a school function, look around at the students and ask yourself how many of these young minds will carry on in that profession. Former Demopolis students have proven that they are willing and very capable to continue to hand down the tradition of teaching our future teachers.