In my role, I've been blessed to see firsthand the dedication and love educators bring to their work every day. There is nothing more uplifting than seeing a great teacher or principal connect with students and inspire them to find greatness within themselves. Simply put, educators perform miracles in the most important profession in our society.
The tragedy in Lawrence Township this week made my deep appreciation for educators reach new levels. Prior to the death of Principal Susan Jordan, I thought I recognized the sacrifices principals and teachers make -- from the fact they get paid a fraction of professionals in other sectors to the long hours they put in every day. But the actions of Principal Jordan should remind us all that the commitment the overwhelming majority of educators have to their professions and to their students runs so much deeper.
As parents, we entrust our most precious possessions, our children, to the leaders of our schools every day, expecting teachers and principals to, first and foremost, keep them safe and healthy. And these educators proudly and selflessly take on that responsibility. It's an unspoken covenant that exists between families and educators--and one that is too often overlooked. That is until something horrific happens like the Sandy Hook shooting or the heroic actions by a legendary principal in Lawrence Township.
It should not take the death of Principal Jordan to force us to acknowledge an educator's "never ending job to protect," as one teacher explained it to me this week. But as human nature has it, we often don't slow down enough in our lives to appreciate the everyday people who make such a difference -- especially principals and teachers. So let's not miss this opportunity to force ourselves to slow down and, in honor of Susan Jordan, show appreciation for the educators in our lives.
If you're a parent, stop by your school and make it a point to go to your child's class and thank their teacher. Give that teacher a hug, and if nothing else, tell them you appreciate their willingness to be a protector of your child. If you're a taxpayer, but don't have kids in school, write a brief thank you note and drop it off at your local school. And if you're a lawmaker or leader in our city and state, double down on your commitment to thank educators by asking yourself what you can do to support teachers and ensure our society treats them in ways consistent with performing the most important job in our community.
If you need any more convincing as to why we all need to take the time to share our appreciation with teachers and principals, just consider this:
There are at least a few parents of Amy Beverland Elementary students who got to hug and hold their children on Tuesday night, all because of Susan Jordan and her unwavering commitment to give her life to protect kids at all costs.
Educators should never, ever have to make that kind of sacrifice. But let us never forget, and always appreciate, the fact that our educators are willing to make that sacrifice.