I recently garnered “Teacher of the Month” honors from my educator peers. Though it had more to do with being a team player than my teaching prowess I was grateful. I also got a $20.00 gift card to Walmart to go with it, which as you know is one of my fave places in the world.
This past week I took on an Algebra class for a coworker who will be on maternity leave for 6 weeks. Until Spring Break I’ll be lesson planning for my Geography class (which will have a sub) and teaching the Algebra 1 class.
And coaching track and field for kicks and giggles too.
Mr Wright, of teaching legend, is a boss and the type of teacher every teacher seeks to emulate and every student loves. But I don’t know if I’d ever have the backbone to set off classroom pumpkin bombs and light student’s hands on fire. I wonder what parents think about having to sign legal waivers for every new term.
The holy grail of public education, “Classroom engagement”, doesn’t seem like an issue for him.
His instructional practices aren’t the only thing I’m challenged by. Mr Wright has a big sensitive heart for young people. As preteens get more cocky, pimply, emotional, mouthy, and hardened they become inherently harder to love. That’s why secondary education must be a calling, not a job.
These aren’t just pesky punks, they’re broken souls. These aren’t random shells of flesh, bones and hormones, they’re images of a good and holy Creator.
You can clearly see Wright’s heart has been refined and made soft by the birth and upbringing of his physically disabled son. A son that has taught him that an atrophied body and indeliberate self violence are an occasion to know this: Everything, teaching, fathering, disabilities, everything, boils down to love.
I have two precious impressionable souls entrusted to me everyday. My sons get the short end of the laptop or cable news way too often. May the way I steward my time, energy, and resources display they are dearly cherished and valuable in their father’s eyes.
So a short salute to Mr. Wright: For challenging me to become a better teacher and father. And living with engaging simplicity the timeless truth; without love, I am nothing (1 Cor 13:1-3).
What past or present teacher made a great impact in your life?