Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Let Us Now Praise Teachers

In the fifth grade, if we were done with
our class work, we were allowed to raise
our hand, to get permission from the teacher
to go to the library to get a book. Because
I loved to read, I would race through the
work. Tired of my constant handwaving,
Mr. Grasso finally told me one morning,
"When you are done with your work, you
may quietly leave the room to go to the
library. You don't have to raise your hand
any more."

In the 10th grade, my American History
teacher, Mrs. Mozingo, asked me to stay
after class one day. She simply said to me,
"I see that you are bored in this class. Here
are some books I think you should read.
We can talk about them after school."

In my senior year at high school, Mr. Everett,
my homeroom teacher, wrote in the yearbook,
"To Thom, who can become whoever he wants,
if he only would believe in himself."

In college, Fred White, Ken Keeton, Ashby
Johnson, Sheila Johnston, Billy Wireman,
and so many more, played roles in my life
that, back then, I did not see. They were
my mentors, my nudgers, my supporters,
my critics. They were my professors and
my friends.

In seminary, Wellford Hobbie, Betty
Achetemeier, Doug Ottati, Bernice Pace,
Robert Carlson, and others lived out
the faith taught in the classrooms. In the
hallways, on the quad, in a hospital room,
around a lunch table, they did their best
to help us understand that ministry was
more than just an academic endeavor.

It's Teacher Appreciation Week in these
parts, and I give thanks to God for all
these people, and so many more.

What a great cloud of witnesses has
enveloped me through my life!

(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman

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