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Shout out to HCS

By Randy Garrison
For the Enquirer

I want to give a shout out to all of the fine folks at Hartselle City Schools. If you watch any of the national news one of the concerns is getting students back inside the schools. Or in other ways back to in person instruction. Well, unless I am mistaken Hartselle City Schools has been holding in person instruction since last August.

Even when the COVID numbers began to climb in late fall and later after Christmas break in January, Hartselle had students in the classroom. Now, that does not mean there were not changes and a little different instruction. Such as hybrid classes at the High School, with students alternating days of being on campus.

Also, Morgan County and Decatur City also managed to have in person instruction during this time as well.

During the fall school term, there were days that there were many, both staff and students, out on quarantine. While some folks complained about how students were sent home, the result was instruction continued on.

I would like to personally applaud all involved with Hartselle City Schools. Whether it be the custodians, aides, cafeteria workers, secretaries, teachers, central office staff, as well as the school board and superintendent all of you deserve credit for making this school year work with kids in seats in our schools.

You all have also taken the task to make athletics work; extracurricular activities take place and others as well. While they may have been quite different than in years past you made a genuine effort to make the situation as well as it could be.

In person instruction is way too important. Not only for the academic reason but for social skills and growth. The words “no man is an island” means this to me, we are social folks and need to be around others. “Iron sharpens Iron” even from the Bible means we need each other to be better at whatever we are doing.

I am not an educator by any means; however, I cannot imagine teaching the thinking process or problem solving can best be done by way of virtual learning. Also, I have heard mentioned that a teacher can spot the “light coming on” in a student’s eyes. They have grasped the concept and the teacher has been successful in engaging the student and enabling them to stretch and grow.

I cannot imagine at all this has been an easy task. With everyone wearing a mask and not being able to see the smiles of the students, or even the look of not understanding what is going on. We communicate with much more than our voice. Our eyes, facial expressions and even our head movements are all part of the process.

I truly am hoping with the increased vaccinations against COVID, we as a society are moving to a time when we can get back to being social folks, not only at school but in church and other activities we all enjoyed as well.

This week celebrated as Read Across America was just not the same. I always enjoy being invited to our schools and reading to the kids. Reading a book in front of a computer screen is just not the same at all. I have also missed being in the schools at various functions throughout the year, as well as attending athletic and academic events.

Now I am in no means complaining about the changes or cancellations of activities. The education system made calls they felt were best for the students and for the situation.

But in closing I just want to say thanks for the hard work, extra effort, missed time with family and other changes that you all made to keep our kids in school.

Many always want to make the statement that Alabama is always behind in education, I will put our educational folks up against anyone. We truly have some of the best. Most feel called to do what they are doing and that calling is to educate and teach our children how to be productive members of society, regardless of the role they play in the school system.

God bless all our folks involved in our Hartselle City School system, you all rock!

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