It is often the case that we take for granted what we have in abundance. This may be true of our excellent public schools in Minnesota.
In so many ways, our public schools are the envy of the entire nation, woven into the fabric of our state. We are so used to them that it’s easy to forget all they contribute to our lives.
With this in mind, I am grateful to join educators, parents, and students across Minnesota in celebrating Public Schools Week.
During this week, celebrated Feb. 27-March 3, it is important to consider the ways public schools impact us all. To be sure, they play a vital role in the education of our children and the future of our society. Public Schools Week gives us an opportunity to celebrate and raise awareness about the important work being done in school buildings and classrooms each and every day.
Now is also a great time to celebrate this tradition and recommit ourselves to Minnesota’s public schools.
Our public schools serve all students, no matter their background, socioeconomic status, or ability. They help provide a level playing field for children from all walks of life. Public schools are places where every child – no matter their background, race, ethnicity, home language, zip code or economic situation – is loved, respected, and celebrated for who they are. They are places of hope and joy, and where every Minnesotan child can thrive.
Public schools also represent a significant economic driver for our communities. They employ many of our fellow community members, while preparing students with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in the workplaces of tomorrow. Public schools are also highly accountable to the communities they serve, ensuring they make the best use possible of taxpayers’ investments.
The teachers, school staff, and administrators serving public schools work incredibly hard to prepare the next generation of students for the challenges and opportunities of the future. Teaching is a challenging and demanding profession, requiring patience, dedication, and a deep commitment to students’ growth and well-being. Educators strive to create engaging and meaningful learning experiences while also addressing the diverse needs of their students.
Whether they teach students in the classroom, drive school buses, prepare nutritious meals, support students’ mental and emotional health, or maintain and repair buildings, the people serving in our public schools are making our communities and our world a better place.
We must remember that our schools cannot do it alone. They need the support of our families and communities to provide the resources and support they need to help students thrive.
We must not take for granted Minnesota public schools’ successes over the years. Instead, we need to acknowledge that these successes are the result of the hard work and investments of generations of Minnesotans who came before us. We must see ourselves as caregivers of the gift of public schools that we will hand to future generations.
During Public Schools Week, please join me in our support for our Minnesota public schools and the dedicated people who work tirelessly to provide a high-quality education for all children!
Dr. Deb Henton is the executive director of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators.