Teacher uses adversity to prepare students for life

Let’s set the scene: Multiple classes of grade school children spend time, resources, and love putting together pumpkin displays at both Three Rivers Charter and Bolton Primary School this past October. Flash forward to Oct. 28 when vandals destroyed all 60 pumpkins carved at both schools.

According to Katherine Holtgraves, Three Rivers Charter School principal, the situation is a good example for teaching students how to handle adversity, according to KGW.

“When something happens in your life that you have some choices to make about getting angry or writing a letter or punching your pillow, it’s really about bullying and how you handle bullying,” Holtgraves said.

It’s admirable that instead of harboring anger towards the vandals, Holtgraves is forgiving, and using this opportunity to better students. Teaching students to deal with hard situations is a true mark of a good teacher. Using adversity as a teaching tool may be rare, but the process sets a foundation for better decision-making skills among children.

Too often teachers teach out of textbooks, educating students through curriculum. In truth this is only part of the job description: teachers have to be able to prepare students for life.

Today there are many intelligent kids who don’t have the life skills to go out and find jobs for which they are educated. This is evident in the everyday life of high school students, who are not able to engage in classroom situations. These students fail to follow directions, engage in classroom situations, and are generally not prepared to deal with tough situations. This type of behavior is evident in the vandals that smashed all 60 pumpkins. These vandals chose a path of destruction and selfishness when they destroyed all of the hard work of many elementary school students.

Some might say that this responsibility does not fall to educators, but that point of view is neglectful and potentially harmful to students. Most children spend more time with teachers than their own parents, time that needs to be spent both educating and preparing students for life.

Teachers have a responsibility to prepare students, as much as students have a responsibility to respect teachers. Teachers of all grade levels need to create stimulating classroom environments where students can be educated through academics and learn lessons for life.