Teachers Who Make a Difference
Teachers who make a difference do exist in the world we live in. I am related to teachers who make a difference and I am so thankful for each of them. I have fond memories of one such teacher who made a difference in my life.
When I was a kid in the 4th grade, my mother would drive me to school. It was a Christian school in South Miami. I remember it well because my fourth-grade teacher was blind. Yes, she was blind.
My mother would go to her house and pick her up every morning and bring her to school with us. Now you might be thinking to yourself, “How does someone who is blind teach a room full of fourth-graders?” That is a very valid question. But this woman did. I can still picture her and what she looked like teaching, and I even remember her name, but for privacy issues, even though she has gone on to be with the Lord, I’ll refrain.
My fondest memories of her, unfortunately, are not what she taught, (while that was great) but rather her unique skills for detecting lousy behavior. It was like she had radar, and in the day, there always seemed to be more than two who found their way to the “wall.”
The “wall” was outside the classroom in the breezeway right next to the army commander, the third-grade teacher. We called her army commander because of her short stature, hair combed so tightly, outfits like a general. She wielded the paddle on behalf of our fourth-grade teacher, and with a great force, I might add. You stood against that wall like a felon, hands against the wall, feet spread apart, bottom slightly out, in full preparation for what was to come next – the wooden paddle which felt like fifty pounds and was ten feet long. As a kid, you can imagine anything.
Every day our fourth-grade teacher would send out the misbehaving to the wall, and every day the third-grade teacher would spank down the line. She delivered many a spanking, and I might add, I was the unfortunate recipient of one of them. Notice I say “one” of them. I learned my lesson pretty quickly that a blind teacher can still figure out what you’re doing. They use their other senses.
I remember this one girl who seemed to like going to the wall. It seems she was out there almost every day to get her two whacks. And what was unusual about this girl is she never cried. The third-grade teacher could make all the boys and girls cry except for this one.
One day I asked her why she never cried after getting her spankings, and she smiled real big and lifted her skirt up to show me the two pairs of shorts on underneath. With that, she walked away, laughing. I stood there, stunned for a brief moment, and then smiled and sat down. Here she was preparing herself each day to get into trouble by wearing extra clothing to absorb the force of the wood. And while the others all cried from the pain of the paddle, she would merrily walk off and go back into class as if she had just been to the drinking fountain for some water.
There are a few lessons in this one I want to address, and so I’ll take a few days with this one, but here’s one of the points I wanted to make with this memory on teachers who make a difference.
Each day, this girl prepared herself with the intention of not making a real effort to change or behave. She went through her school days, preparing for the consequences of bad choices instead of making good choices. How many times do we end up preparing ourselves to make bad choices that day instead of making good choices, instead of choosing to do the right thing? I believe it happens more than we think.
Tomorrow will dive into this topic more, and we’ll take a closer look at the blind teacher. In the meantime pray for someone today who has lost their sight. You may know them personally or they may be a stranger. God has blessed them with other senses to rely on, but they can still use our prayers.