This article by Bob Greene, CNN contributor, is a tribute to Miss Barbara Drugan, an exemplary elementary school teacher in Bexley, Ohion who passed away recently. For 32 years, she taught kindergarten and had an uncanny ability to recall the names of all her students and then later, all their families . At the end of her teaching career, she became the crossing guard for the neighbourhood where she taught. Surprisingly or not, she was the only one who applied for this position. Her love and care for students continued on but from a different vantage point.
So fittingly, when Miss Barbara (as the whole community called her) died, the entire town mourned her passing and celebrated her life and contributions to many generations of men and women with a ceremony held outside the window of her kindergarten classroom.
I contrast this with recent articles featured in the Toronto Star that headlined on the front page "bad teachers", the tiny minortity who unfortnately have tainted this honourable profession. Why is it that good news teacher stories such as the many "Miss Barbaras" of this world are rare, or even if they do appear, are small articles hidden in the recesses of newspaper pages. Yes, they are usually out of sight and readily overlooked! But news features such as these recent negatively charged ones are splashed for everyone to see and all teachers feel the sting!
This for the simple purpose of selling newspapers! It is unfortunate that disparaging or shocking news items sell papers. The feel good stories do not. We need those feel good, "warm fuzzy" stories that celebrate public education and the quality of our education system so aptly delivered by thousands of caring, dedicated teachers who love being in the classrooom each and every day changing lives and touching hearts. Hurrah to these educators are unsung heroes!