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Appreciation Week: Thanking Teachers and Nurses

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

 

This year, the week of May 7th gives us, the community, an opportunity to thank two groups of professionals who make a difference in our school system and they are our teachers and the school nurses. We all know that teachers are the most critical factors in student achievement.

Let us remember that a good teacher does more than pass on information, for a good teacher inspires a thirst for learning that lasts a lifetime. Teachers continue to establish relationships with students in an attempt to make a difference in their lives and in their academic progress.

Teaching is the only profession out of which all others must grow. We are in an era of great accountability and excellence but unfortunately, the lack of resources needed in the teaching profession has hampered our progress. Yet our teachers continue to work hard, purchase materials out of their own pocket and reach out to our children. They make a difference in children’s lives.

Having been an educator for most of my adult life, I cannot think of any better way of reaching out and making a difference in the lives of a child than being a teacher for it is a most challenging and rewarding profession. Every day parents entrust the teacher with their child and rely on the teacher to assist them in molding their future.

The same can be said about our nurses. We all know that healthy children learn better and school nurses help remove barriers to academic success. It’s essential that everyone understand that health and learning go hand in hand, for an unhealthy child has difficulty learning.

School nurses reduce absenteeism, provide better attendance rates and care for students in school so parents have to come pick up their children much less often. According to data, 96% of students seen by our nurses return to class.

Today’s nurses deal with a wide range of illnesses and conditions that did not exist years ago. These health professionals juggle a complex array of medical and social issues, see hundreds of students, deal with complex issues such as obesity, nutrition, prevention of diseases, and work with students with special health care needs. For many students in our school system, the school nurse is the only health care professional they ever see. They are the watchful eyes and ears of our children during school hours.

Our 42 school nurses in Worcester continue to collect medical data and stats for 24,000 students, maintain an individual health record on each of these students and, as needed, make health care plans. Today’s nurses are part of an interdisciplinary school team working to ensure that all students benefit from quality education and intervention services that reduce barriers to learning.

Both teachers and nurses are an important part of the success of our school system and both groups agree that performing a service for our children and making a difference in a child’s life is its own reward. So, how can you thank these professional during the week of May 7th? Consider sending a note or an E-mail, or how about a visit from a former student or parent to say THANK YOU! Supporting our teachers and school nurses is an investment in our future. 

 

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