Mr. PLATTS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of House Resolution 1130, recognizing the roles and contributions of America's teachers in educating and nurturing our Nation's children and thereby building and enhancing our Nation's civic, cultural and economic well-being.
A teacher's role in student development is irreplaceable. All of our lives have been influenced by the teachers that directed our classrooms, classrooms where students acquire the knowledge necessary to become a part of our Nation's future.
Showing teachers appreciation and recognition during the upcoming National Teacher Appreciation Week which takes place next week helps to remind us how important teachers are and what an integral role they play in the lives of our Nation's citizens. It is important that we recognize teachers for the critical work they do in improving our Nation in so many ways.
Teachers today devote more of their lives to teaching young people than ever before and spend more time on professional development, their own education and on class preparation outside the classroom. Teachers spend an average of over 50 hours per week on teaching duties and an average of $443 [Page: H2902]
each year out of their own pockets to meet the needs of their students, all the while earning an average annual salary of slightly more than $31,000.
The future of our Nation's children is dependent on the individuals to make these time, energy and monetary commitments, and they deserve recognition for their service.
On a personal note, I certainly am honored to recognize the teachers I had in kindergarten through 12th grade in the New York suburban school district and know but for their support and guidance, I would not have had the opportunity to pursue my dreams, including the dream of serving in this very body, the United States House of Representatives.
Behind the upbringing of my mom and dad, my teachers, Dorothy Mirtz, my third grade teacher who is now 97 years old and still going strong as I visited with her just a few weeks back, my eighth grade teacher, Earl Lucius, who took the lessons of my parents of community service and inspired me to pursue a career in public service, they and so many other teachers and administrators I had the blessing to interact with in my education and career played a critical role in my life, as teachers do in
all of our Nation's children's lives, in the past, the present and the future.
So I am honored and pleased to stand in support of this resolution, recognizing the important roles and contributions of America's teachers and support National Teacher Appreciation Week.
I certainly thank my colleague, Mr. Graves from Missouri, for introducing this resolution, and encourage an ``aye'' vote in favor of the resolution.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. POE. Mr. Speaker, teachers plant the seeds of learning in the minds of their students. I support America's teachers and I am proud to be a cosponsor of this resolution. This measure recognizes significant roles and contributions that America's teachers have had and continue to have building and enhancing our country's civic, cultural and economic well-being.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that there are 6 million teachers in the United States. I, like many others in this House, turned out the way I did because of teachers that were in my background, like my seventh grade Texas history teacher, Mrs. Wilson. She formed early on a desire in my soul to go into public service, and she gets the credit or the blame, whichever people see, for my lifetime career in public service.
I also come from a long line of teachers. My mother was a teacher; my wife is a teacher; my three daughters are teachers, and two of those teach at elementary school level and one of my daughters teaches at Baylor University. And even while I was prosecuting back in Houston, Texas, I spent some time teaching law at the University of Houston.
But teaching isn't just a tradition in my family. Teaching has been a tradition in this country since its very inception. Back then, of course, most teaching happened at home under the instruction of parents. Today, parents have many options when it comes to education of their children. Some are taught in private schools, others public schools, some at charter schools, and others continue to home school.
Teachers play a primary role in equipping our youth to be good citizens, to take pride in the democratic heritage of our Nation, and to be competitive on the world marketplace of ideas. Teachers spend a long week and long hours teaching our greatest resource, children.
This year, we celebrate National Teachers Week on May 4 through 10, and let's be sure to let teachers know that those, especially that have touched our lives, how important they are. And like the bumper sticker says, ``If you can read, thank a teacher.''
And that's just the way it is.
Mr. PLATTS. Mr. Speaker, I urge a ``yes'' vote, and again thank all the teachers of our great Nation for their devotion to our Nation's children and for their commitment to bettering the lives of those children and, in doing so, strengthening our Nation as a whole.
I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, in closing I want to thank Representative Platts and Representative Poe for their comments relative to this resolution, and certainly join with them in expressing again tremendous appreciation for all of those in the teaching profession.
As I listened to them, I couldn't help but be reminded of important teachers during my life. I began school in a one-room school, as a matter of fact, in your home State of Arkansas, where one woman, Ms. Beadie King, taught eight grades plus the little primer and the big primer all by herself. But then I was fortunate because, later on, she was the high school English teacher. And there are individuals who would suggest that I sometimes use poems and poetry and pithy words in expression, and
practically all of that really came from Ms. Beadie King. She was unbelievable. As a matter of fact, she walked at least seven, eight miles to school every day to teach.
There are a lot of teachers who give that kind of dedication today. They don't necessarily walk 7, 8 miles, but they go into their pockets and buy materials; they purchase clothing for their students when they don't have the appropriate things to wear; they purchase lunch for students; buy materials for their classes. They give the very best of everything that it is that they have.
I don't think that we can ever express--I use the opportunity to express appreciation to my wife who taught for more than 30 years, members of my family, my sister who just retired as a principal, my sister-in-law who just retired. And so there are many teachers that all of us stand on their shoulders. Like you, Representative Platts, I know that had not it been for those individuals that I came into contact with growing up, there is no way that I would be standing here this evening
expressing myself as a Member of the greatest body that exists in the world, the United States House of Representatives.
Again, I thank all of the teachers in America and urge passage of this resolution.