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Teaching Much More Than a Job

PHOTO: For most teachers, teaching is more than just a job, and with the school year winding down it is a good time to tell a teacher, "Thanks." Photo credit: jsoto/pixabay.com
PHOTO: For most teachers, teaching is more than just a job, and with the school year winding down it is a good time to tell a teacher, "Thanks." Photo credit: jsoto/pixabay.com
May 8, 2015

PIERRE, S.D. - The school year is winding down across the state, and with end-of-the-year tests and graduations, it can be easy to forget what teachers and students have achieved together.

Mary McCorkle, president of the South Dakota Education Association, said most of us were lucky to have that special teacher.

"All of us had some teachers who have inspired us and helped us," she said. "Whether they helped us academically or they were a counselor to us, they listened to us, they believed in us, they made a huge difference."

As Teacher Appreciation Week ends, McCorkle said a simple thank you to a teacher would mean so much.

There are more than 9,200 public school teachers in the state, teaching more than 128,000 students. For most teachers, McCorkle said, teaching is much more than just a job.

"I hear a lot of teachers that I talk to say, 'It's not what I do, it's who I am.' Yes, it's a job, but it is so much more than that," she said. "It is an opportunity to see the future, going to play a small part in helping shape the future for your community, or your state, or the country."

McCorkle said most teachers look at their classrooms and see much more than just children.

"These are our kids. They aren't just kids who sit in the classroom, but they are our kids," she said, "and we carry them around with us, so to speak."

McCorkle said state teachers are very dedicated despite ranking 51st in pay across the country.

Jerry Oster, Public News Service - SD