Tuesday, May 7, 2019

A Tribute to Teachers Who Changed My Life


Happy National Teacher's Week to all the incredible, self-sacrificing teachers who love their students, fight for them, pray for them, never give up hope for them, cheer them on, and influence their lives for good. You make a difference, dear teachers. Your impact is huge in the lives of kids who hurt and are confused and lost in a world that bullies and calls them names instead of understanding and healing the pain.


To Mrs. Eastwood

my eleventh grade business teacher, I thank you. When my baby brother had cancer surgery and I burst into tears in the middle of your teaching, you didn't scold or chastise or appear angry. You came to my desk (having no idea why I was crying) and put your arms around me and comforted my pain. I couldn't stop crying and I couldn't stop believing that I was in big trouble for disrupting your class. But no, you understood and cared and cried with me when I told you about my brother. Thank you. I never forgot your love shown to me that hard day. For years after you stayed in contact asking me how my brother was doing. Thank you.


To Mrs. Harrod

my fifth and eighth grade teacher, your influence in my life made a page in my book Praise the Lord and Pass the Chemo: A Hopeful Response to a Hard Reality. Thank you for noticing that I couldn't see the chalk board. Thank you for calling my parents and suggesting I have an eye exam. Twenty/twenty vision opened up a new world to me. How glorious to stop struggling to see! Thank you for imprinting my life by starting each day with the class singing "I Would Be True." Nearly fifty years later, those words still ring in my heart — your legacy to me.

"I Would Be True"
by Howard Walter

I would be true, for there are those who trust me;
I would be pure, for there are those who care;
I would be strong, for there is much to suffer;
I would be brave, for there is much to dare;

I would be friend of all — the foe, the friendless;
I would be giving, and forget the gift;
I would be humble, for I know my weakness;
I would look up and laugh, and love and lift.

I would be faithful through each passing moment;
I would be constantly in touch with God;
I would be strong to follow where He leads me;
I would have faith to keep the path Christ trod.

Wow! As I read those words, I wonder what impact they would have on today's students. The message stayed in my heart and remained true for a lifetime. Thank you for being the teacher who took a stand for good.

Teachers, you have a difficult job, but also the most important job in this country. Let no one tell you differently. You are impacting the next generation for good. Kudos to you this week and thank you! Be the teacher your students remember and include in their books fifty years later. 

"Train a child in the way he should go, 
and when he is old  he will not turn from it.
(Proverbs 22:6)

May your school year be filled with Splashes of Serenity!
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