The Saratoga Sun -

It's the kids, stupid


To most people who know me in Wyoming, it is not much of a secret I worked in the world of spirits (not the ghostly type) to make my living. Probably less well known, I earned my bread and butter as an English teacher in Taiwan for almost half a decade.

I taught English classes for doctors in a few hospitals, gave private English lessons for business owners and rich housewives wanting to read novels written in that language (which was actually very cool). Several large companies also had me on retainer to help with English reports.

However what I got a kick out of most was teaching kids.

I taught English to people of all ages both in schools and privately, but I really enjoyed the couple years I taught kindergarten.

I have said often to anyone who will listen, every guy should be a “kindie” teacher if they are thinking about having children. You get exposure to kids’ vomiting, hugs, bathroom habits, tears, laughter, smiles and the incredible feeling when some child repeats something you taught them and you know they understand. Talk about making a difference in a life.

Being a teacher is something I will always treasure I have done.

It has been years since I taught English, but recently I have been blasted with memories of past students, by reporting sports events, science and agriculture fairs, award ceremonies, proms and graduations.

Grabbing pictures of proud grins from parents, family members, teachers, coaches and friends supporting students in their accomplishments makes this job rewarding. Gratifying not because I get to see it first hand and capture the moments if I am lucky, but these moments demonstrate why residents in East Carbon County should have great hope for this country’s future with the kids coming out of this school system.

More than once, I found the different educational institutions in Carbon County School District 2 (CCSD No. 2) doing a great job with it’s programs and system. The educators are committed to doing the best for the kids. I met one P.E. teacher who retired back in the mid 1990s and came back a year or so later and is still teaching at two schools in addition to coaching junior high basketball at a third school.

I understand why he does it.

The smile of confidence a child or teenager gets when they get a lesson right is something to behold.

If you are fortunate, you get a memory that will last for years.

I have to give a shout out to the parents, because I have met kids who are amazing without trying by observing where the goodness was rooted. I met a boy who helps those less well off by delivering free bread, but asked not to be named because he felt it would take away from what he was doing. I respect this attitude when often it seems our culture often promotes “look at me and how cool I am” to our youth.

At a recent sports ceremony, I was close to one of the star athletes who was incredibly humble in his demeanor. His parents were near and I could see the beaming joy they had in the accomplishments of their child, but it was a quiet kind of celebration. I took a picture, knowing it probably would not be used, but I wanted to capture the moment anyway because it was beautiful.

I once heard someone say the Sun was a paper that put out mostly pictures of kids and stupid stories about them.

First, stories about the future generation in the making isn’t dumb. Thank God the Sun covers our students. These kids accomplishments are exactly what is right with this region of our country. The support parents and teachers give for kids to reach their goals should be highlighted every chance we get in the news. I wish all we as Sun reporters did was cover the students because most all the stories would be uplifting and certainly not mindless.

I was proud to be a teacher for my short tenure and I am just as happy to report on all the kids I have been blessed to be exposed as part of my job now.

I can say the communities in CCSD No. 2 are encouraging their progeny in ways one doesn’t see all over the country or globally.

I was raised in the suburbs back East and school was way different to CCSD No. 2 system in so many ways. Many politicians rise to power starting on the school board and students are not their first interest. It would be easy to say all big city school board members are only concerned on their power and how it can to lead to other offices, but I know there are plenty of committed educators who do the best they can with their resources.

They just are not lucky enough to live in CCSD No. 2 where there is so much support from the communities.

This support is never more evident as the school year comes to a close. The victories of the past year will propel those students into the next step in their life, whether it is continuing to the next grade or graduating high school.

At the Sun, we may not be the educators or parents of those kids with amazing stories in their background, but we can tell you about them.

There is no dumb picture or story when it concerns the future crop of graduates the communities in East Carbon County produce. I hope to see many of these moments and capture a few of them for our readers in the times to come.

Congratulations CCSD No. 2 students, parents, educators and all those associated with helping graduates get closer to realizing their dreams and goals for their life to come.


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