Considerate local kids


I am an itinerant teacher for the deaf and hard-of-hearing through the Linn-Benton-Lincoln ESD. This year, I serve three school districts in two counties. However, I’ve been an itinerant teacher for ten years, all over Oregon and Idaho. Like a speech therapist, I pull kids out of class and provide instruction 1:1 or in small groups on coping with their hearing loss, managing their hearing aids, and supplementary instruction in reading, writing and language. I serve all grades: preschool through high school.

Every day, at every school, I check in at the main office and greet the receptionists, then make my way down the halls toward my kids’ classes. On the way, I always encounter students – going to the office, going to the library, going out to recess, etc. In all my years, of all the schools I’ve served, I’ve never met more polite students than I’ve met in Sweet Home. At the elementary schools, the kids hold doors open for me when they see me coming. When I hold the door for them, they say, “Thank you.” They often say, “Good morning,” even though I’m merely a guest there, not staff. At the high school, the kids provide directions around campus and around town in a very friendly, courteous way. When they see that I have my arms full of books and toys, they hurry to open the door for me, and offer to help. If they jostle me in the crowded hallway at pass-time between classes, they apologize. I feel welcome and respected everywhere I go. It’s not special treatment for a senior citizen, either! I’m 38!

Gold stars for the teachers, administration and staff at each Sweet Home school for encouraging and emphasizing manners on campus. Blue ribbons to the parents who’ve raised their kids so well. Courtesy is contagious, and when these kids enter the big, wide world, they’ll be taking it with them, to everyone’s benefit.

Korin Riedberger