Education has always been very important to me.  My father was a public school teacher for 37 years, my uncle a principal and then Superintendent, and my aunt an elementary school teacher.  I have heard many stories about my dad in the classroom from his former students.  Many in Berks County know Mr. George and his crazy antics teaching 8th grade World History at Schuylkill Valley School District.  The letters he would get about him being a favorite teacher, comments about his love of jumping on desks, acting out historical events, and making the kids laugh, always made me smile growing up.  I’ve always enjoyed history and historically based books and movies because of my dad.

 

Personally, I always loved going to school and learning.  I loved reading…and still do.  My 11th grade Honors English teacher told my parents that I am a “sponge” and “have a thirst for knowledge.”  I very much still hold these traits and value learning.  The subject matter of my choice of books has changed significantly over the years: from sea life to art and fashion to health and wellness.  For the past 15 years of my life, I have been on a journey of self and formal education about nutrition, the human body, biochemistry, functional medicine, and wellness.  And what I have learned is vast and yet, there is so much more to learn!

 

I celebrate and honor the teachers who helped guide me in the past and celebrate and honor those who are teaching our youth through these very difficult and unprecedented times currently.  As the mother of a first grader, I see firsthand how difficult teaching through the lock-downs and social distancing restrictions has been for all of those involved.  Unfortunately, it is hard on the teachers, the parents, and the children.

 

I, like most of you, have a lot of feelings about the current events and its effects on schooling.  It makes me sad to hear my son say that this year’s school experience isn’t as fun as last year’s.  I recognize that the teachers and administrators have their hands tied and so do the parents, but I do hope my son gains a love for learning and equates school and learning with fun.  

 

To the other parents, know that I am here for you as a practitioner and an ally. Juggling work, owning a business, and helping to school my child has been one of the most difficult things I’ve had to take on!!  The challenges of managing virtual live school for my 7 year old are many.  But I am hopeful.  For through adversity we experience the most growth.  I have no doubt that we will persevere.  That our children will be more resilient as a result of the adverse situations that they were forced to adapt to and that we as parents will be better for it.  We get to have a hand in their education every day in many ways and now we get to help them even more with their reading, writing, and arithmetic.  

 

And to the teachers, thank you for collaborating with the students and the parents.  For reaching out and asking for help when it’s needed and for adapting your teaching methods to help our children.  “It takes a village” has never been a truer statement!!

 

Whitney George

Functional Nutritionist

 

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