Meeting the Challenge
We certainly have a lot of challenges in driver and traffic safety education and need to do better. Vehicle crashes are still the leading cause of teen fatalities. Surveys show that only 50 percent of teens take a driver education or driver training course (Teen Driving Facts and Statistics). Decades ago every state mandated high school driver education. Teaching standards and curriculum need to be improved. There is more of an emphasis now in our profession on making money rather than meeting the needs of the students. As you look at the SCDTSEA website, you will find that SCDTSEA has been very active lobbying for more and better driver and traffic safety education.
It has been enjoyable and rewarding in trying to be of service and working toward making our educational profession a better one. It has also been a joy to see so many of you putting professionalism into action! After many years of teaching, I came up with these thoughts on professionalism:
Professionalism isn't simply having higher degrees, it's being of a higher breed It isn't simply teaching for years, it's teaching for quality. It isn't just to make money, it's to mold teens to become safe drivers for life. It isn't haughty pride, it's humbling service. It isn't talk, it's action. It isn't promises, it's performances.
I would like to challenge all of us to be involved with results. Involvement is merely putting your belief into action! Do we believe in safety education? Do we consider safety education a ministry? If we consider our educational profession a “high calling,” we will dedicate ourselves to be involved and to have results! We will be rewarded more than by making money. We will be rewarded by knowing that we have helped our teens to mature and to become experienced drivers. It is one thing to work for a living. It's another thing to work for a cause! Our teaching is preparing students for living! You will also be rewarded by the appreciation your students give you. In this regard, a quotation by Charles V. Youmans should be very alarming: “God pity the teacher who does not the job for which he is paid (no matter how little). For in time, his students will raise a whole generation to curse him for his negligence.”
Please make plans to attend our November 21, 2014 SCDTSEA Conference at Blythewood's SCDMV. I believe that our time together will help inspire, inform, encourage and increase our resolve for more and better driver and traffic safety education. Let us all keep on keeping on to “Make Safety First and Make It Last.”