National Charter Schools Week

This is National Charter Schools Week. But, it might be more appropriately billed Charter School Teacher Week. A growing number of parents are sending their kids to charter public schools. But, the untold story is how many teachers are choosing to teach at charter public schools.

Charter teachers like being untethered from oppressive rules and standard procedures that are necessary for large bureaucracies, and that innovation in charter public schools is not just allowed, it is welcomed. That allows charter teachers to personalize instruction, to be creative in their teaching, and to allow their personalities to be part of the curriculum.

But, a bigger draw is that many charter teachers feel like they are part of a family. Their relationships with their students and parents don’t begin with the morning bell and don’t end when the buses arrive in the afternoon. One Kansas City charter parent said she got more texts from her daughter’s teacher than her husband. Another marveled at how her teacher came to her daughter’s birthday party on a Saturday.

It is a passion to teach matched with a professional ability to motivate their students and involve parents that are the hallmark of our charter teachers.

We all want our teachers to stay enthusiastic through the entire day, entire school year, and their entire careers. We can’t afford as parents or citizens to allow them to burn out. All of us in education— parents, administrators, school board members and elected officials— must support our teachers both in the classroom and by prioritizing elementary and secondary education in our state budget.

During National Charter Schools Week, let’s celebrate the men and women who teach in charter schools in Missouri, and all teachers, for their enthusiasm and dedication to our children.