Prospects in education
by Rick Norton
Mar 08, 2013 | 400 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Safeguarding fundamental practices in education remains a high priority within the classrooms of our schools, but doing it through innovative means is the new wave now trumping all else.

@:It’s this simple. Teachers who can get through to the minds of their pupils are those who are raising the standards on innovation.

Their reasoning for exploring such techniques is transparent. It’s all about an evolving society whose needs are diverse and whose demands are increasing. Plus, in today’s world the attention spans of young students are easily distracted by an array of outside interests. So, sometimes it takes a dedicated teacher’s added touch to ensure an academic breakthrough, whether by just one student or a classroom filled with students.

Over the past few years, our newspaper has dedicated ample space to the quality work of teachers within the Cleveland and Bradley County school systems. It is not a token gesture. It is in-depth and it is genuine.

We don’t see our focus on education changing any time soon. It’s that important.

It is important for the students.

It is important for the parents.

It is important for the teachers.

It is important for the schools.

It is important for the school systems.

It is important for our community.

But most of all, it is important for education.

We will continue to seek out innovative teachers and to highlight their techniques within our public and private school sectors.

One of the latest practices that came to our attention is the work of Erica Davis and Sharvetta Bess, modified resource teachers at Prospect Elementary School who are teaching their special education students — and the parents of these students — the art of couponing.

In a news account filed by staff writer Joyanna Weber, which we published on our front page in the March 4 edition, this dynamic duo of teaching talked of how dollar savings by couponing is used in mathematics lessons to teach students basic skills like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

The technique is far more interactive than meets the eye. Parents are invited to send lists of items they plan to buy each week to class via their children. Teachers and students then work together to find appropriate coupons.

Once coupons are found, the teachers prompt their pupils to decipher a few basic arithmetic skills. For instance, using subtraction, students learn how much money can be saved through coupons. Using addition, they grasp the total amount of savings possible on one visit to the grocery store when coupons are employed. Using multiplication, they learn potential monetary savings for an extended period of time. Using division, they understand how much they are spending, or saving, over the course of a month, a year or beyond.

The practical gift is these coupons are then given to the students who take them home to their families for use in real life.

It’s a win for the students.

It’s a win for the parents.

It’s a win for the teachers.

It’s a win for the schools.

It’s a win-win-win-win for our community and for the learning process.

Education doesn’t have to be complicated, especially when placed in the hands of teachers who have entered the profession for the right reasons.

We can think of at least two educators at Prospect Elementary School who are excellent examples.

We know with great certainty our area schools — city, county and private — have many, many more.

We hope to tell their stories in editions to come.