Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Teachers are our Water

This is the text from a speech I gave at the Berkeley County Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, January 14th.

As the recent events in the southern part of our state have illustrated this week, one thing we can’t take for granted – and often do – is water. We need our H2O to clean, to nourish ourselves, and go about our daily lives. Without it, we can’t survive, focus, maintain the progress we make each day in hopes of furthering our selves the next.

In education, teachers are our water. We quench a thirst for knowledge in our students that they may not even realize they have for a subject. We spend some of our day putting out fires, as we resolve issues between students and parents. We wash away tears – and outdated teaching methods, as we make waves with new ideas and lessons. With teachers, as with water, things will grow, as students soak up the experiences in their classrooms. Together we make an ocean of learners, providers, and family members that touches the lives of everyone we meet. Everyone has absorbed in some way the lessons of a teacher. Without it in some form each day, where would any of us be?

Often, however, we take water for granted, not realizing its value. There is much demanded of our water supply. Water has to be purified to keep what’s potentially harmful from reaching the masses. It needs support, the proper structures, and maintenance. Teaching is no different. Support and a watchful, caring eye of the community is vital to our water supply. While some evaporation is expected, as others move on in the profession, we can’t risk a drought due to negligence and not nourishing our current water supply.  It’s expected that some negativity will seep in, but the actions of a few can’t flood out the good works of many. Often our water supply risks becoming contaminated with misconceptions and misinformation. Sometimes it takes a jarring experience, a wake-up call to remember how fortunate we are to have our own water supply – and how imperative it is to nurture it.

However, water is the strongest force on earth. It takes just one pure, clean trickle to break through the barriers, the negativity to instill hope that there is more in supply and better days to come. Together, our ideas condense and form a river that others are willing to join upstream. We weather many a storm to come out replenished and ready for another day.  And there will always be those willing to make waves for the sake of improvements, morale, and the conviction that someone must wash any apparent negativity out to tide. We are water – the most vital, versatile resource on Earth.  

Teachers are our water. And we can’t take water for granted. Thank you, and God Bless all of our fellow West Virginians. 

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