The way we see it: The value of a teacher


Photo by Lauren Patrick

Teachers are there for it all. Through the good and the bad, they support us, help us, get us through our difficulties and make sure we come out better than we went in.

Mill Stream Staff

There’s something special about teachers.

It’s no secret that high school, or any school of any kind, honestly, can be tough at times. It’s also no secret that these rough patches don’t always make us, as students, the most enjoyable humans to be around. Still, teachers are always there, during the harsh moments and the struggles we encounter. They’re there for it all. Through the good and the bad, they support us, help us, get us through our difficulties and make sure we come out better than we went in.

Because, really, teachers set us up for the rest of our lives. They’re present during some of the most influential years of our childhoods, when our minds are still pliable and confused and new, and they shape us into decent people before setting us loose on the world and standing back to watch what we do with it. We may be the clay of this society, but they’re the sculptors. They teach us their subjects, but they also teach us kindness, humility, respect, and integrity, with an unmatched passion, bringing excitement and intrigue and learning to our lives in ways only they seem capable of. It’s not only that teachers are special when compared to other adults in our lives— it’s that they’re something wonderfully different entirely.

Which is exactly why they deserve so much more than they receive.

You know what else isn’t a secret? How many teachers have left Noblesville lately. We’re seeing people drop out left and right— nearly everyone in this school has lost a favorite teacher or two by now. And despite how understandable the whole situation is, it hurts. We tend to get attached to our teachers. We grow used to seeing them, talking to them, getting to know them better and better as the seasons change and the school days tick by. They become familiar figures in our lives. Everyone has a teacher who means the world to them, and as we grow older, those kinds of connections become so important.

But then they leave.

Then we lose them.

And we miss them. We miss them in ways that are sharper and far more painful than we were ever prepared for.

But we really can’t blame them for it. For all the wonderful things teachers do for their students, they’ve got more going on than just dealing with us all day. They’re parents and spouses and people, with families to support and lives to live, and they need the income to do so. They need decent wages to live off of. They need the respect they deserve.

Still, they don’t get it.

Recently, schools have been focused on technology, with bringing new gadgets and widgets and ideas into the classroom, and that’s great, but these days, it’s not necessarily what’s most needed. Teachers aren’t a priority anymore. Buying new things does change a school system, and many of these new things, such as the new security measures, truly are important, but none of the upgrades we’re receiving mean anything without the people who make it all matter.

Teachers do so much— they take their work home with them, they don’t get paid overtime for it, and they aren’t valued for the extra effort they put in. They take uninteresting subjects and uninterested students and somehow, someway, create something fantastic from them, filled with potential and possibilities. They see the kids who need help and they help them, and they see the kids who are struggling and they keep them afloat, and they keep coming back with the same passion and joy, month after month, year after year. The people who give this school life are the teachers. They do not deserve to be an afterthought.

Our teachers mean a lot to us. We’ve become close with them, we’ve learned so much from them, and they still have so much left to teach us. They’re the ones who have made us into the people we are.

They deserve to receive the respect they’ve earned.