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Teaching others is two-way street of education

Teachers may have one of the most challenging occupations in the entire world — and it takes a special type of person to excel as this wonderful building block of human development.

How else could you describe a job that is often under-paid, under-appreciated and overlooked when it comes to contributions they make to our society?

Yet, for me, teachers have the most fascinating job because they are able to constantly grow as human beings while they are doing just that: helping growing human beings.

It seems that the greatest part about this profession would be the constant exchange of ideas and learning that takes place on both ends.

While I certainly don’t think I am cut out to be an educator, I recently got a small taste of this when I welcomed Cub Scout Pack 103 from Coal Grove to The Ironton Tribune for a lesson or two on how to produce a newspaper.

And while I think these students may have walked away with a little knowledge about what makes the newspaper tick, I came away with an education of my own, the likes of which could never be found on the Internet or in a textbook.

These young men — and one young lady — displayed a youthful exuberance that would make anyone feel young. Question after question not only taught them about the newspaper industry but also helped me verbalize what it is exactly that we do at the newspaper and how we do it.

How many papers do you run? Where’s the ink come from? How long does it take? How do you deliver them? How much paper do you use? All these questions and many more taught me as much as it did the youth.

Sometimes, it takes explaining something you know to help you look at things in a different light.

And though we cannot all be educators in our professions, we can all serve as teachers in our lives.

I would encourage everyone to take a few minutes every day to teach someone a little bit about something.

Sharing knowledge like this will be a mutually beneficial relationship of which the truest value cannot easily be measured.

Each of us has had teachers that have touched our lives. Let’s not forget that we all can have that profound effect on our youth.

You don’t have to be an educator to take the time to teach a lesson or two about life. And those are lessons that will leave everyone smarter and better for it.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Ironton Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at mike.caldwell@irontontribune.com.