The start of another school year meant another open house at Poland Dobbins Elementary. But for me this year was a little more special because, with one in second grade and one in kindergarten, I had a doubleheader. I spent 6:30 to 6:45 with my son's teacher and 7 to 7:15 with my daughter's. It would be similar to the previous two years, except this year I would double everything. I'd meet two teachers, see two classrooms, and chit-chat with even more parents.
However, there was one thing I wanted to pay particular attention to this year. I went in looking for a quality I saw this past summer when my family and I ran into a member of the Dobbins staff, and her family, at a restaurant. Maybe it's because I can't recall a memorable out-of-school encounter with an educator as a child, but I was impressed with the time she gave to talk with us. We got to meet her family and vise versa. She asked my daughter about her summer and asked my son if he was ready for kindergarten. While this may not sound like a big deal, it was to me because I saw the genuine interest this woman has for children.
So, at this year's open house I made a conscious effort to pay attention to other members of the Dobbins staff to see if they possessed the same quality, and surprisingly they did. I say it was surprising because of all the U.S. and Ohio Department of Education mandates, standards, indicators, goals, etc. that these educators must concern themselves with on a daily basis. I could understand if they lost sight of why they choose their profession in the first place.
This genuine interest in children is not measured on any kind of report card, so they won't get their names in the newspaper or receive a fancy named award. But I'll take an educator who cares more about children than they do about designations and accolades any day.