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Superintendents’ Forum: The Impact of an Educator

This article was originally published in the Reading Eagle: 

By: Dr. Patrick Winters, Twin Valley School District Superintendent
Thursday, December 8, 2022

One of the Latin roots of the word “educate” is “educare,” which means “to bring up or rise up or train or mold or nourish.” This root speaks to the true essence of all the educators working with and leading the 70,000-plus students in Berks County.

No matter what your role is in educating students — teacher, aide, custodian, maintenance worker, bus driver, support staff, professional staff, or administrator — you all work tirelessly and daily “to bring up” the next generation. Therefore, in honor of our amazing educators in Berks County, the acrostic poem below is for you.

Excellence — The educators serving the 70,000-plus students in Berks County exhibit excellence each and every day, taking pride in their role and doing what they do at the highest level they know how.

Dedication — The dedication of educators in this region is unparalleled. We have individuals that come in early, leave late, and advise clubs, coach sports, etc., all because they care about students and the experiences they have.

Unselfishness — All educators in our communities are about the students and not about themselves. Seeing students succeed and have positive experiences is what drives their passion and day-to-day interactions.

Character — Those serving students in public school districts are role models in a variety of ways, setting a strong example through their words, actions, and deeds.

Adaptability — The COVID-19 pandemic might be in the rearview mirror, but the challenges facing educators have not disappeared. As a result, our educators have mastered the art of adaptability whether they work in the classroom, in the building, in the cafeteria, on the school bus, or simply support districts in general.

Trustworthy — When students come to school each day, they have questions and often need a listening ear that they can trust. The educators supporting students in Berks County serve as those trusted individuals who students talk to and lean on.

Organization — The one thing all educators have in common is their organization. Spend any time with someone who works in a school district, and you learn very quickly they are some of the most organized people you will ever meet.

Resilience — More than at any time in history, educators have “to wear more hats” now than they ever have before. Many of these “hats” require resilience on a day-to-day basis to manage some of the challenges facing public education.

Early in my career as a high school English teacher, one of my mentors used to say the following: “If you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” Public education is that career and calling for individuals working in school districts across Berks County.

You have our thanks; you have our appreciation; you have our support. Every one of your efforts on a daily basis determines the experiences our children have in school. Please never underestimate the impact each and every one of you has.

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