I grew up in the era of public schools, where being insanely strict was thought to be the best way to educate a child. It was an era where teachers were glad if their students saw them and ran into hiding even when they were doing nothing wrong.
I remember one time during recess in high school, we sat together in clusters eating our lunch. Suddenly our Vice Principal Admin (rest her soul) strolled by. We threw our food in the air and ran. It took a few minutes for it to register in our heads that we were actually doing nothing wrong. By the time we returned, some of our meals had been ruined in the stampede. That’s when I knew something was wrong with the system; if the command “run” is programmed to tick off in our heads when we see certain teachers.
Fast forward years later. I am now married with 3 kids. I run into this old vice principal chatting with my mother. Mom turned to me and told her, look how the daughter you helped train has grown…she is now a mother! The VP walked up to me, beaming with smiles and I swear I heard the mental command, “Run!” It took the courage of God to stay still, look her in the eye, smile and greet her politely. She tried to hold small conversation with me about her life since high school and how she had gone on to bag a PhD and how excited she was about it.. What would have been a beautiful teacher-student reunion was ruined because I was feeling so awkward and uneasy and couldn’t wait for her to get back chatting with my mother. That was the last time I saw her. I got a call from my mom, telling me she had passed on. I wept in pain. She was a good woman and an excellent tutor but was damn too strict.
Fast forward again to June 22, 2018. I see a post from my good friend, Dr. James King who paid back the good deeds of his old Biology teacher the previous day on his surgery table. James shared a photo of himself carrying out surgery on his teacher and wrote,
Reason for that serious focus:
I just realised the first person who taught me the definition of BIOLOGY, my secondary school Biology teacher, …was the one on the surgical table.
People’s legacies live on. Please always do good.”
Teachers have the most honorable job on earth. They help nurture the great legends of the future. Let your students be able to say this of you many years later.
Photo Credit: James King/Facebook
Written By: Peace Ben Williams
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The Reward of Being a Good Teacher ©2018
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