Pat Komor: Vote ‘yes’ on 4A, 4B and 4C
Our public schools provide an education to our children that is phenomenal — in both academics and character education. Both of these critical aspects of our kids’ education are at risk due to overcrowding in our schools.
My son’s teachers are attentive and dedicated. They challenge him where he is strong and help him grow where he is not as strong. In addition to the excellent academic program, which is evident by the high ranking of our schools, our teachers provide a solid character education.
When I’ve volunteered in our schools, I’ve seen that kids are taught how to interact appropriately, address/avoid bullying and resolve conflicts. Students learn social and emotional skills, and the teachers look out for kids that need extra support. This character education is an important part of the school, and these are important life skills.
However, our teachers’ ability to know and connect with our children, help kids in need and teach both academic knowledge and life skills is at risk. When teachers have too many kids in overcrowded classrooms, individualized attention is just not possible. The more kids there are, the harder it is to get to know them, to understand their needs and make sure they are doing well.
In overcrowded classrooms, the amount of time teachers can focus on the social/emotional skills and character education decreases, and the environment of the school changes. Some say that teaching these life skills is a parent’s job, and it is, but the reality is that by middle school, what happens at school and with friends impacts kids as much as what happens at home.
During the school week, my son spends as much time at school as he does with us. The environment at school really matters.
I love that Steamboat is a community with character, where people help each other — the type of place where if you lose your wallet, you are likely to get it back intact. Our kids are the future of our community, and the character, emotional health and behavior our children learn in school will stay with them and thus impact what our community is like in the future. Our teachers need the facilities and environment that will allow them to continue the exceptional education in both academic and social/emotional areas that our children currently receive.
Please join me in voting “yes” on questions 4A, 4B and 4C.
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