This community opinion was contributed by HSD trustee Rob Bernosky. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent BenitoLink or other affiliated contributors.
I don’t work anywhere near a classroom, a playground, a school bus, a cafeteria, or a school district office. I do sit on a school board though, am married to an educator that has taught here since 1993, have two daughters who are teachers, and have a few other relatives who are teachers. I hope that establishes for you credibility in wanting to convey my belief that those in education are the most deserving of a break during the holidays, especially so this year.
Public education has always been difficult; it all just seems more difficult the past couple of years. I can’t pinpoint why I feel that way, but it seems like student behaviors have changed and situations have become more complex. I get insight into more than one school district, and public education just seems to be more difficult for the educators and school board members. Maybe it is because the education system’s ability to discipline has been dramatically decreased. Or perhaps social media has just caused behaviors to be different and we don’t know how to immunize against them during the school day. I can say this: it seems like bad actors, students and adults, seem more emboldened. The word impunity comes to mind. Many seem to be going around seemingly with a sense of being exempt from punishment, good manners, treating others with respect. The importance of going to school and being good actors seems to have waned to a degree. Not for all, but for enough.
Regardless, what caught my attention this week, especially this week at a Hollister School District board meeting (and for sure overall in San Benito County), is that our educators are not giving up, no matter what they are faced with. They really care about the kids. They want them to be safe and to be educated. The educators are trying new programs, taking different approaches, talking to each other, even to those in different school districts. They are enthusiastic, loving, caring, professional. They are taking risks, especially school boards and superintendents, that they are taking for the right reason. That is a lesson I wish I could teach the kids!
Merry Christmas, educators of San Benito County. Enjoy the holidays. You deserve it. You are special.