They say time flies when you are having fun so I must have been having a ball because summer is gone, and school is here.

As activity has picked up around the Tarleton campus, I know there are teachers across our community scrambling to get things organized for students.  In my day, there was always too much teacher inservice and never enough time to work in my classroom.  I didn’t need days focused on telling me how to do my job. I needed time to prepare and decorate for the kids coming in.  That was my focus. I remember, boringly tapping my pencil on the handouts they gave us and the lectures they made us sit through.

I miss those days of looking forward to a new set of faces, with new school supplies, new clothes, and the nervousness involved in a new classroom, a new teacher and a new set of friends.  In a short amount of time expectations are revealed, schedules unraveled and formats rehearsed.

I want to say thank you to all teachers out there committing and dedicating their lives to our kids.  If you make an impact on “one” kid, you have made a difference.  If you show one kid what learning is about, you have changed a life.  I know it may seem there are too many rules and regulations, and assumptions and formats, and not enough getting down in the dirt and learning why ladybugs fly and frogs bury up on a hot day; but you are making a difference.

In the coming days, teachers will spend more time with our kids than we do and I’m thankful for every teacher who walks in the classroom with love in their heart and a desire to show our kids a world they can change and make better.

I’m thankful for each teacher that makes my kid a priority when she/he has kids at home and never enough time to spend with them.  I’m thankful for that teacher that says, “Here, let me show you” or “I know it’s hard but I’ll help you figure it out” or “I understand how it is at home but we will work through this.”

Teachers don’t get into teaching for the money.  It’s never going to make you financially rich and the headaches it instigates causes many talented people to leave the profession.  So, I’m thankful for those in the classroom that put up with Inservice, not enough supplies, very little time, and a whole lot of unappreciation.  How well I know you take three steps forward and ten steps back on any given day. You go home at night to face your family and they wonder why you are tired and grumpy and have no patience.

As a retired educator, I wouldn’t take anything for my time in the classroom.  

Teachers, you are going to make a difference, so smile and keep on keeping on.

Melinda Clements is an E-T community columnist. She can be reached at melinda_clements@centurylink.net.