Letters to the Editor

Marvin Maddox: Teachers mean more than numbers

Regarding the March 13 Point of View “A Dear John letter to North Carolina from a fed-up teacher”: How do you assess the value of a teacher? Can it be measured simply by student achievement tests?

I grew up in rural Georgia. My first-grade teacher noticed this shy boy who seemed a little bored because my grandmother had already taught me the subjects we were studying.

The teacher explained that not everyone was as lucky as me, and she invited me to help a student who was having problems. Soon it was another student. In the process of helping other students, my social skills improved substantially.

My high school shop teacher had a large sign above the chalk board: “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.” I’ve thought about that sign for the rest of my life.

One Saturday morning my high school science teacher drove me to a meeting with a dean at the University of Georgia. The result was a scholarship and eventually a degree in physics. This led to graduate school in meteorology and to careers as an Air Force weather officer and National Weather Service meteorologist.

I was lucky to have had these teachers. However much they were paid, it wasn’t enough.

Marvin Maddox