Other voices: Teachers offer life lessons for the rest of us | TheUnion.com

Other voices: Teachers offer life lessons for the rest of us

It’s rare to find someone who hasn’t had at least one teacher who has made an immeasurable impact on his or her life.

Teachers are all the more remarkable because they are so numerous. What kind of society produces so many men and women who are willing to spend their careers in a generally underpaid profession; constantly striving to meet often overblown expectations; all too often in working conditions that are, to put it mildly, hardly ideal?

For the best teachers, the reward isn’t the salary but the gratification of opening young minds to the world around them, providing them with the life skills they need to succeed.

One would think that after a lifetime of such endeavors, teachers would enjoy their well-earned retirement pursuing their own interests and hobbies. But apparently the lifelong habit of giving doesn’t stop after the career ends. Retired teachers are among our most active volunteers, donating their time and effort to the many causes that stitch our society together into a community.

When the president called on Americans to give more of themselves in service to others, many scoffed at the ability of people to donate up to 4,000 hours of their time to community service. Well, the California Retired Teachers Association conducted an informal survey of their members and found hundreds who had already met that milestone and more!

Overall, members of the California Retired Teachers Association, representing more than 52,000 retired educators, have tallied up more than 2.4 million volunteer hours for the year. In dollar terms, the value of that volunteer time totals more that $46 million. That’s the gift of giving – for the people of California.

This week, Nov. 4 through Nov. 10, is the ninth annual California Retired Teachers Week. The week is set aside to recognize teachers for their extraordinary volunteer efforts. CRTA also wants to make the week a time to inspire others to make similar commitments of their time to local causes. They are urging us all to “Make the Time to Make a Difference.”


Polly Bacich lives in Grass Valley and is the president-elect of the California Retired Teachers Association.

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