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School board members should be a force for change | News, Sports, Jobs


Congratulations to new school board members across Iowa.

Among local elected officials, you play one of the most important roles. You are not only making decisions for today, you are affecting our children, our community, our state and our nation for years to come.

Take the job seriously and question the proposals made to you and the changes you are supposed to make. Just because someone has the loudest voice in the room doesn’t mean they’re the one you need to follow.

Just when you think you’ve heard enough to make an informed decision, take a minute and listen to another person. Your conscience will thank you.

In Sioux City alone, we have seen parents concerned about the curriculum, new programs, tests and mask mandates. Once again this week, the board had to contend with supply teacher shortages and the growing problem of teacher burnout. Don’t rush to judge.

Change is as inevitable as a new school year. The idea of ​​virtual classrooms is something many had never considered five years ago.

While specific issues may have fueled your desire to serve on the board, do not make it the focal point of your term.

Remember: students, teachers and staff have gone through the most difficult two years in recent history. They had to adapt to changing times, to lost traditions. Go into the classrooms and talk to them. See what matters and figure out how you can meet their needs.

Need proof? Rejecting cursive writing class might not seem so bad until you hand a child a letter from a grandparent and he or she can’t read it.

Likewise, promoting science, technology, and math over writing, reading, and the arts creates an imbalance that is often difficult to regain. Finance wisely. Fund well.

Think back to your own education. Remember those teachers who impacted you and try to remember what they did to make you want to learn. Look at it. Decades, if not centuries ago, schools produced academics, leaders, politicians, parents and soldiers who brought us through some of the most difficult times in history. They too had passionate boards.

Be that kind of representative.

And when you graduate at the end of this school year, know that you can say you’ve done everything you can to prepare the graduates for a future they never could have imagined.

Be a positive force for change. Future generations will thank you.

–The newspaper of the city of Sioux

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Margarita W. Wilson

The author Margarita W. Wilson