Another school year is ending across America. This reminds me of all the debts that I owe to many teachers. I’m sure that others share this sentiment. Herbert Hoover held teachers in high esteem, writing an article ‘Thank You Miss Gray’ for Readers’ Digest, and giving an address titled ‘Education as a National Asset.’ This excerpt nicely encapsulates Hoover’s regard for teachers:
‘The public school teacher cannot live apart; he cannot separate his teaching from his daily work and conversation. He lives among his pupils during school hours, and among them and their parents all the time. He is peculiarly a public character under the most searching scrutiny of watchful and critical eyes. His life is an open book. His habits are known to all. His office, like that of a minister of religion, demands of him an exceptional standard of conduct. And how rarely does a teacher fall below that standard. How seldom does a teacher figure in a sensational headline in a newspaper. It is truly remarkable, I think, that in so vast an army of people—approximately 800,000—so uniformly meets its obligations, so effectively does its job, so decently behaves itself, as to be almost utterly inconspicuous in a sensation-loving country. It implies a wealth of character, of tact, of patience, of quiet competence, to achieve such a record.’
I can add nothing to Hoover’s high praise.