Freedom. It’s something we too often take for granted. As we go about our busy day-to-day lives, it’s easy to forget what has happened behind the scenes to make everything we have possible.
In the heartwarming story from TexVet, we share in the experience of a teacher who goes above and beyond to teach an important lesson.
Read the inspiring passage below.
In September of 2005, a social studies schoolteacher from Arkansas did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with permission of the school superintendent, the principal, and the building supervisor, she took all of the desks out of the classroom. The kids came into first period, they walked in; there were no desks. They obviously looked around and said, “Where’s our desks?”
The teacher said, “You can’t have a desk until you tell me how you earn them.”
They thought, “Well, maybe it’s our grades.”
“No,” she said.
“Maybe it’s our behavior.”
And she told them, “No, it’s not even your behavior.”
And so they came and went in the first period, still no desks in the classroom. Second period, same thing. Third period. By early afternoon television news crews had gathered in the class to find out about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of the classroom. The last period of the day, the instructor gathered her classes.
They were at this time sitting on the floor around the sides of the room. She said, “Throughout the day no one has really understood how you earn the desks that sit in this classroom ordinarily. Now I’m going to tell you.”
She went over to the door of her classroom and opened it, and as she did 27 U.S. veterans, wearing their uniforms, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. And they placed those school desks in rows, and then they stood along the wall. By the time they had finished placing the desks, those kids for the first time I think perhaps in their lives understood how they earned those desks.
Their teacher said, “You don’t have to earn those desks. These guys did it for you. They put them out there for you, but it’s up to you to sit here responsibly, to learn, to be good students and good citizens, because they paid a price for you to have that desk, and don’t ever forget it.”
In 2006 Martha Cothren was named the “Teacher of the Year” by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. She uses creative methods to teach her students about military history, and an integral part of what she teaches is an appreciation for members of the armed forces. Her classes regularly sent care packages to US Soldiers and wrote letters — in the 2005-6 school year, alone, they sent 1,200 of them.
What an inspiration.
Little do most children realize that these honorable veterans fought wars in order to earn the children the right to freedom and an education.
To get her point across, this teacher knew that creativity was the key. These students will never forget the day their desks were marched in by a group of uniformed veterans.
This one teacher, without a doubt, has helped mold generations of care-givers.
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