The children of Independence started back to school last week. As a teacher, this is my favorite time of year.

To the editor:

The children of Independence started back to school last week. As a teacher, this is my favorite time of year. All this summer, I often popped into my school to do things to prepare for this week. Though the first contract day for teachers was Aug. 10, I never found myself alone in the building. Teachers spent their “vacation” painting, cleaning, cutting, pasting, writing and planning. This was in contrast to the numerous articles I read on the state of education. I heard people claim that tenure made teachers lazy. This is my 27th year of teaching, and the men and women I encountered in the halls this summer were not there because of fear that their contracts would not be renewed. They were there for the love of teaching and the desire to do the best by their students.

I also read that teachers joined unions out of greed and selfishness. Again, this was not the motive of the teachers of the Independence National Education Association, who spent their summer attending educational seminars and working toward a great new school year with their physical and mental labors. We join for the purpose of elevating our profession. We know that together, we are more effective at all we do.

My thanks to all of the volunteers who came to my school as well as others for Project Shine who understand that caring for our students is an undertaking that requires constant effort and a passion for our public schools.