Fay Hafey: Striving for perfection
November 4, 2011
To the editor:
I appreciated John Ponikvar's letter to the editor very much.
Thanks to John for taking the effort and time out of his day to express his thoughts regarding Moffat County schools.
I heard a speaker on television a year or so ago make the statement that our education would be the downfall of our nation. This is a definite crisis.
That stuck in my mind and I've thought about it many times. How sad that our nation has come to the place where education is no longer a priority.
Definitely sports and other extracurricular school programs, especially when they are successful, encourage our students to higher achievement, better grades and more success. School-sponsored activities are a positive way of keeping kids off the streets.
This is a good alternative when so many parents are both working and in other cases when a single parent must work.
Sports has the extra incentive of the possibility the student will receive a scholarship to help pay for college.
Activities teach responsibility (doing your part), staying on schedule, and sportsmanship (good attitude). They build integrity and instill a desire to be your best. Activities also teach teamwork, which is essential for success in the workplace, improving communication skills, and instill a good work ethic.
Parents certainly have a big responsibility in challenging our schools to higher achievements, thereby establishing a culture of high expectations among our youth.
It's no wonder our education programs are stuck in a state of mediocrity. Many things contribute to this lack of excellence in our schools. Because of the lack of discipline from many parents and the restriction on our teachers (thanks to our government), too few adults show encouragement and interest in our children and school programs. Many adults and teachers are dedicated.
Continual funding cutbacks at the state level equates to less teachers, more students per classroom, less materials to work with, and government-protected behavior by children who disrupt classrooms and do not respect authority.
Those students disrupt the learning environment of other students, taking valuable time from others who want to learn.
Ask any teacher. Most teachers are in the profession because it's a calling and they love children. Take a look at their low salaries and the five years of college required to teach. Generally, if you are teaching, your spouse is employed somewhere to augment your income.
Another profession certainly not respected as it should be is our law enforcement. They earn low salaries and risk their lives every day.
That brings up our military, which also receives low salaries and risk their lives every day, and so many times are taken for granted.
Wake up, America.
John's final statements in his letter concerning what culture does our community reflect is also true. We need to examine ourselves and then take steps that would bring excellence to our schools.
You are so right, that if perfection is not strived for in every endeavor, excellence can never be attained.