Brigantine Teachers Go Above And Beyond. By Donna Ligameri Andros….
If you’ve been reading the local papers lately, you might think that the Brigantine Public Schools aren’t doing their job. I beg to differ! It may be true that the test scores are lower than we would like to see, but these scores vary from year to year.
They have also been very high some years, although you don’t hear anything about that. Funny how a full page article is not published during those times! I wonder if the people who are questioning our school system have actually had children go through it?
It’s easy to criticize and point fingers, but I would like to hear from some parents who have had children go through our school system.
I was recently approached by a young couple with two small children, who were deciding whether or not to move to our wonderful island, the one I call “paradise”. They loved the island, but had read the paper and were worried about our schools. I was a bit shocked, to say the least. You see, my two daughters attended Brigantine Public Schools from Kindergarten through Eighth grade, and they received an awesome education.
Their teachers went above and beyond our expectations, and some even changed their lives forever. I wonder if every parent can say that about their school.
So I told the couple about Brigantine Public Schools. I told them about the teacher who, in the second grade, noticed a talent in my daughter and took the time to develop and strengthen it, giving her the confidence to pursue that talent as a career.
I told them about the teacher who spends several months, including nights and weekends, to transform our entire school into a cultural learning experience complete with music, art, dancing, and cuisine from different countries.
I told them about the teacher who made every single day a hands-on educational wonderland, one that would stick with them forever, not just get learned for the test and be forgotten afterward. I told them that my daughters went on to high school highly prepared, graduating in the top ten percent of their class, earning scholarships for college. “But what about the test scores?” they asked.
So I told them that the scores can go up and down, but the caring, giving, dedicated and passionate teachers remain constant. I told them about this wonderful island where I was lucky enough to be born and raised, the one where I chose to raise my children, the one where I would love to see my grandchildren raised, the island that I am proud to call our home.
I also told them that I have had the privilege of working in the Brigantine Public School system for the past fifteen years as an aide, so in addition to my children being in the system, I see first-hand on a daily basis exactly what goes on. I see what the average person on the outside, looking in, cannot.
I see the heart and the soul that the teachers give every day.
I see the time that they take, coming in early and staying late to make sure they have every detail taken care of.
I see the money they spend out of their own pockets, and of their own free will, to give their students a little extra. I see the relationships that are built between the teachers and their students, the bond that takes ten months to build but will last so much longer. I see high school and college students who can’t wait to come back to say hello to their teachers in Brigantine. This says more to me than a test ever could!
We have lately been painting a bad picture of Brigantine. We are chasing away good families who would like to move here, and making those families who live here question whether or not they made the right choice.
The Council meetings have become a joke, with grown men and women acting like children.
And now, with the attack on our school system, we are further dragging our fine city through the mud. I have never seen the morale of our town so low, and I think it’s a shame.
We need to wake up and start rebuilding our attitudes and our pride. Stop the blaming and the name calling and let’s come together for the good of Brigantine Island, before it’s too late.
Let’s put an end to it before we have ruined the great reputation that we have worked so hard to build.
Donna Ligameri Andros