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Shout out to our teachers

Jon Hauser

FARGO — On a recent morning I was blessed to visit my daughter's elementary school. Earlier in the school year, she entered the Battle of the Books competition and scored high enough to be selected. Her team competed against seven other teams. Each one did outstanding. Her team did not make the championship, but she was grinning ear-to-ear to participate and have mom and dad watch her.

She has such a huge passion and capacity for learning. It is a joy and inspiration to watch. She reminds me so much of her mom and her grandmas. I pray that her desire to learn and grow is never extinguished. I am convinced when you stop learning and growing you have stopped living.

The school librarian organized the competition, and she thanked us parents and grandparents for attending. She reminded us that so often, based on our attendance and participation, our children are led to believe that sports trumps all other activities. She thanked us for supporting an academic competition. I love sports, but I hope both of my children know that spiritual growth, leadership development, and developing all of the talents and abilities God has given them will always trump athletic endeavors.

Whenever I drop my son or daughter off at school we always pause to pray before they get out of the car (even when my son was in high school). When we pray, I thank God that we live in a country that believes in educating every child to their maximum potential. I pray for their teachers and principal. I pray they will offer their best, encourage someone who is having a rough day and develop friendships with other kids who are making positive decisions.

I have several questions I regularly ask my daughter after a day at school. "Did you encourage, thank or compliment someone today?" "Did you notice someone who needed help and you did what you could to help them?" "What is something you enjoyed learning today?" I want my children to realize there are consumers and contributors in this world. I want them to be contributors and regularly identify what they are contributing to the lives of others and the organizations they are blessed to be a part of.

After the competition I thanked the librarian for all she did to provide this opportunity for children in our community. And, today, I give a huge shout out to every teacher across our great country. Having many family members in education, I have personally seen the passion, energy and sacrifice they pour into their students. I watched my mom walk in to our house after a long day at school, sit down in the chair with her coat on and fall asleep before taking it off. I watch my sister purchase supplies for her classroom with her own money and care for the needs of her students beyond the classroom. I see teacher friends who spend time praying for their students, weeks before the school year starts. Educators are one of the overlooked heroes in our world. I challenge each of us, before this school year is out, to thank a teacher for all that they did or do. After you do, share your story with me.

God bless you. See you next Sunday!