November 15-22 is National Education Week. Enjoying my second cup of coffee and without pressures of the day, smiles came over my face as I recalled 25 years in the classroom with all but three of those years in Pratt, Kansas. Being retired for 20 years, I see many changes in education.

There are policies now that put a different meaning on classroom tasks. Technology gives teachers and students a whole new look at the world. Teachers teach learning that parents don't have time to do, but that is needed for total development of a child. Their planning, caring and sharing is more than 8 hours a day, but they are doing a great job.

What I taught in Kindergarten is being taught in Preschool and what a great opportunity for children 3, 4, and 5 years of age. It's a whole different world, but teachers strive to give their students all they can without all the new wonders often not available. They can plan, prepare in the creative ways to help all children. It's not always easy, but teachers know how to smile through the challenges.

Some of the best pay a teacher can receive is a verbal or written "thank you," a hug, a smile or even a prayer. Let's take time this week or perhaps every week to let teachers know how much we appreciate what they do. They are doing a great job in Pratt, Kansas. "Thank you!!"

Barbara Shinkle, Pratt