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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Teachers deserve pat on the back

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jamie Barrand
You could use a lot of words to describe me, but "shy" isn't one of them.

I have no problem getting up on a stage and performing. I can act, sing or dance in front of an audience without getting nervous or giving it a second thought.

Public speaking? Bring it on! I love to do presentations and speeches. When I was a kid, I loved giving oral book reports almost better than I liked doing written ones (yes, I was a geek).

There is one caveat to all of this, however.

The audiences and crowds I'm speaking or entertaining in front of must be made up of mainly adults, or the deal is off.

Groups of children make me extremely nervous. I don't know if that's because they really listen where adults sometimes zone out or what.

My husband Andy, on the other hand, is more at ease with children.

He recently became the coordinator of children's ministries at our church, and he is really excited about it.

This past weekend, we got a group of kids together and did pumpkin decorating.

I went along, but I don't know how much help I really was.

While Andy was right in the fray with the kids -- attaching candy corn teeth and pipe cleaner hair to and painting faces on the pumpkins right along with them -- I just sat on the sidelines and watched for the most part.

I don't know why I don't communicate well with little people. I just know it's not one of my strengths.

I tried teaching Junior Achievement once.

They gave me eighth-graders ... and it didn't work out so well.

I had lesson plans and everything, and I was supposed to be able to keep them engaged for 45 minutes.

I failed miserably.

People like my husband ... and teachers ... amaze me. Working with children, I think, truly is a calling.

My daughter had some wonderful teachers when she was little. She's 19 years old and a sophomore in college now, but she still says her second grade teacher was her favorite of all-time.

My son, who is 8 and in the third grade, has been very fortunate as far as teachers go.

He entered Deer Meadow Primary School as a first-grader and he flourished there. Whatever needs he had, they were met.

He had problems with his vision, and because of his teachers, his condition was diagnosed. He was able to receive vision therapy, and although he's still not quite where he should be, he's making great strides.

The reason for that, I believe, is that the teachers he has had genuinely love him and want him to succeed.

In my opinion, teachers are sorrowfully underpaid and underappreciated. I know there are budget constraints and that most school corporations would like to pay their teachers more.

For what it's worth, I appreciate the teachers who have had a hand in educating my children, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

I could never do what they do.

Jamie Barrand is the editor of the Banner Graphic.