Editorial: Teachers have a big order to fill

Published 8:09 am Tuesday, August 15, 2023

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On Aug. 28, Davie County Schools students will start a new year.

For many, it will be their first time in an organized school. It’s tough on little kindergarten students, but it’s not so easy on their parents, either.

The late Rose Post, columnist and writer for The Salisbury Post, was first to reprint this article written by a school principal in Franklin, Ind. many years ago. It is still appropriate today.

“My son starts to school this week. It’s all going to be strange and new to him for a while, and I wish you would sort of treat him gently. Up to now he’s been boss of the backyard. I have always been around to repair his wounds, and I’ve always been handy to sooth his feelings. But now … Things are going to be different.

“This morning he’s going to walk down the front steps, wave his hands and start on his great adventure that probably will include wars and tragedy and sorrow. To live his life in the world will require faith and love and courage. So, teacher, I wish you would sort of take him by his young hand and teach him the things he will have to know.

“Teach him, but gently if you can. He will have to learn, I know, that all men are not just, that all men are not true.

“Teach him that for every scoundrel, there is a hero. For every crooked politician, there is a dedicated leader. Teach him that for every enemy, there is a friend. Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest people to lick.

“Teach him the wonders of books. Give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun and flowers on a green hill. Teach him about the world of work.

“Teach him that it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat. Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him they are wrong. Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone else is getting on the bandwagon.

“Teach him to listen to all men, but to filter all he hears on a screen of truth and to take only the truth that comes through.

“Teach him to sell his brawn and brains to the highest bidder, but never to put a price tag on his heart and soul.

“Teach him to close his ears in a howling mob and to stand and fight if he thinks he’s right.

“Teach him gently, but don’t cuddle him, because only the test of fire makes fine steel.

“This is a big order, teacher, but see what you can do. He’s such a nice little fellow, my son.”