Dr. Robert Townsend is the Son and Great Grandson of Teachers
and has personally taught laypeople, interns, residents, and paramedic students for over 30 years. The job of a teacher should be to instill the love of learning to their students. They are role models. Their goal should be to foster understanding, not promote memorization for the next standardized test. They should be paid properly, provided with the tools and supplies they need to do their job, and this tax money viewed as an investment in the future of our state rather than a political football for spending cuts. The lottery proceeds should be extra funding rather than replacements for budget cuts. Our students should have access to the arts and sports as an essential part of their educations.
There are several aspects of education that are important to Dr. Townsend- Specifically he was a strong supporter of the recently passed Clare/Gladwin Career and Technical Education Milage. Passed with 56% this milage will provide $1.9 Million dollars over 10 years to support local education in the trades.
Another point that Dr. Townsend likes to make is the lack of training in reasoning and critical thinking skills. Every day we talk about walls on our Southern Border, Facebook is full of posts about chemtrails and the ‘dangers’ of vaccines and their relation to autism. Many people simply repost these assertions without investigation or critical evaluation, to the point that people start to believe them. Looking for primary source documents, snoopes.com (an excellent and well written site that debunks ‘urban legends’), or googling local newspapers when a report of an Isis Rally in Dearborn is posted are all it takes to evaluate these stories. But a shocking number of people lack this ability, and we should add instruction in logic, debate and critical thinking skills at the high school level.
Teachers were role models for Dr. Townsend, and as a result he developed a life long love of education- something he has tried to pass on to his children who attend the Clare Public Schools. Teachers should be rewarded for their legacy, and one thought Dr. Townsend has tossed around is a state run program for teachers of excellence. Say we have a chemistry teacher in Gladwin that has perfected a lesson the on Periodic table- why don’t we tape that and put it on a statewide database for high school students? Don’t understand it when you study it? Go watch the tape on the state YouTube Channel. And while we are at it, why don’t we send the teacher that made it a dollar because you watched it?
Every Student has one Teacher that made a difference
Earl Weber was such a teacher. Mr. Weber was Dr. Robert Townsend’s Earth Science teacher at Gobles High School and an inspiration to him. He was stationed in Alaska during WWII as a weather observer and drove to school every day in a purple Checker motorcar. His stories of Alaska prompted Dr. Townsend to travel there to work for the VA, and learn to fly. Mr. Weber traveled the world with his wife, and they made slideshows of the exotic places they visited to show the geology. It seemed he photographed every rock and river valley from Australia to Zanzibar, and the lights were never on in Mr. Weber’s Class. We knew Spring was coming because of Mr. Weber and his trusty sextant. We lost Mr. Weber in 2005 after he passed his love of science to a generation of GHS Tigers. If you see Dr. Townsend looking at the clouds and smiling, think of Mr. Weber, because Bob is.