World Teacher Day shines light on educators

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Teachers across the globe are being uplifted for World Teacher Day this Saturday, giving praise to educators for their hard work while using this time to discuss how to improve the educational system for future educators.

Helen Gillespie Metcalf, a current Grand Rapids Public Schools teacher at Mulick Park Elementary, has been raising up future generations for 40 years.

“I love teaching, I knew this was for me the minute I stepped into my first job and saw the joy of children,” Mrs. Metcalf said.

Metcalf was nominated by GRPS to be celebrated for her tenacity and leadership, giving future teachers a prime example to look to when it comes to getting work done in the classroom.

“People wouldn’t understand the day-to-day work teachers do, spouses wouldn’t even understand,” said the principal at Mulick Park Elementary, Thomas Standifer II. “It’s like we’re raising children today.”

Metcalf and Standifer both agree there are better days ahead for education, and it starts in the home.

“The community can help us by making sure they read with the kids,” said Standifer. “If your kids can read, they can learn anything.”

If you plan on taking on a class of your own, Metcalf says the key to an educator’s success is never giving up, even if that means buying classroom supplies when the state fails to help out.

“When the money isn’t coming from the state, I have things coming out of my pocket like notes and materials for art projects,” Metcalf said. “When there’s shortfalls, volunteers will come in and donate.”

Both educators say there’s a need for community partners and volunteers. If you’re interested in giving your time as a sports coach or a tutor, you’re encouraged to send a message to the school through their Facebook page.

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