When you think back on your school years, it’s likely that there are at least a couple specific educators who come to mind.
The history teacher who demonstrated how the same set of facts can lead two very different stories.
The shop instructor who stayed late to help you finish a project.
The counselor who helped mediate a difficult conversation between you and some classmates.
The orchestra leader who calmed your nerves prior to the big show.
The coach who taught you that some of the biggest victories don’t show up in box scores.
Over the past several weeks the 40-plus journalists who work for Pamplin Media Group have been working to bring you some of the “amazing educators” who are creating those memories for the current generation of students. The result is a special magazine appearing in print and online this week, highlighting some of the wonderful teachers and administrators making a difference in students' lives everyday.
The project grew out of our most successful special section, Amazing Kids, first published in 2014. Many of these young people attributed the success they had in their young lives to adults around them — siblings, parents, grandparents, to be sure, but also their teachers, counselors and coaches.
People like Breck Foster, who uses current events to inform her students about climate change and Dana Henson, who stresses the importance of young musicians being positive representatives in their communities.
The Pamplin Media Group devotes a tremendous amount of resources to covering education. Sometimes that’s meant holding adults accountable for disturbing gaps in graduation rates, spotty internet access in rural communities and a lack of return-to-class protocols following concussions.
Spotlighting problems — and exploring potential solutions — is an important role for professional community journalists. So, too, is highlighting successes. At Pamplin Media Group we try to strike a balance between muckraking and cheerleading.
So we encourage you to read our special section and find out why Mark Halpern says his best students “see into the mystery of being.”
And the next time your local school ends up making headlines for all the “wrong reasons,” think about some of the these amazing educators who are doing their best to bring out the best in our children.