Letters to the Editor

Reach out to students

Re Jamie Sanderson letter in support of education, Aug. 31:

To Jamie Sanderson: Thanks!

You cared enough to visit the school, connect with teachers who were going to have your youngsters in classes, reconnect with those teachers who had taught you, then write a heartfelt letter that echoed words of praise, encouragement and support for those teachers.

We need more people stepping up as advocates and cheerleaders for those causes and those people who serve others. And in stepping up, you serve as a positive role model for progress at Maryville Elementary, the Georgetown County School District, and other surrounding school districts. Your youngsters will be among the benefactors of your service.

I would encourage everyone associated with the delivery of services in our public schools to demonstrate an even greater sense of inclusion and teamwork than they currently do (always room for growth). There are no insignificant team members in a school setting. Bus drivers, maintenance personnel, custodians/maids, cafeteria workers, office personnel: Your contributions toward having safe, alert, respectful and energized youngsters each day are most important.

For members of instructional teams, I ask you to consider what you see when you look out at your students from the front of the classroom. Do you see winners and potential winners (my wish for you)? Or do you see winners and some losers? This self-fulfilling perspective influences how you treat students and how they perform.

As the new year continues, there are many new faces among you. Like you, they want to be accepted, respected and treated fairly; their ongoing success, confidence, motivation and mood depend upon their interpersonal needs being met. We might not have a natural tendency to "reach out" to help others adjust and feel at home, but our reaching out anyway will pay huge dividends in terms of the success and positive adjustment of those to whom we do reach out.

I'll end with a call for you as players to fill special roles and help others adjust, feel accepted, and perform well, and I'll use some of the team members from the movie "Remember the Titans" as an aid.

We need more Rev-like behaviors; he volunteered to help the new player, Louie Lastik, with his studies. He taught "Sunshine" the veer offense. ( "Rev" was the quarterback.)

We need more Louie Lastik- type behaviors. He was new to the area and to the team. He was outgoing, friendly to everyone, and just wanted to be a part of a good team.

We need more Coach Boone-like behaviors. He required that his racially divided team members spend time each day of training camp getting to know members of the opposite race.

I hope that those who read Sanderson's letter were inspired to continue to make positive differences in their schools and communities. We are all better for it.

The writer lives in Little River.