“Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.”
That line from Joni Mitchell’s 1970 song “Big Yellow Taxi” referred to the environment:
“They paved paradise and put up a parking lot…They took all the trees and put ‘em in a museum..”
But today, I’m singing it in regards to our teachers.
Today is National Teacher Appreciation Day.
With COVID-19 closing schools we’re missing our teachers and recognizing how important they are to our lives, our families, our communities, our country.
Teachers. Thank you! We have taken you for granted. We want you back.
You have been:
We put athletes on Wheaties box. Why? Are athletes really our heroes? We’ve got some upside down values in the USA. Guys who dribble a ball down a court can make $20 million a year. Teachers stand in a classroom and shape our children and, consequently, shape our future, bring home an average of $50 grand.
That’s just not right.
Lee Iacocca, the guy who brought us the Ford Mustang and Ford Pinto (You can’t win them all), and revived a Chrysler Corporation that was ready to be buried, made this observation: ““In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something less.”
People are saying that we will create, post-COVID-19, a new normal. How about making paying and appreciating teachers, as the heroes they are, being part of that new normal?
Here are some heroes that shaped me:
Mrs. Summers, 3rd Grade Teacher at Kinyon Elementary School in Poplar Bluff, MO. Thank you for enhancing my love of books when you took the last 15 minutes of each class to read to us, Mark Twain’s, “Tom Sawyer.”
Mrs. Langford, 5th Grade Teacher at Eastmoreland Elementary School in Joplin, MO. Thank you for giving me a note at the end of the year in which you called me “a boy with promise.”
Dr. Gerald Cowen, Greek and New Testament Professor at Southwest Baptist College in Bolivar, MO for opening my eyes to the cultural and historical context of Scripture.
Dr. William Tolar, Dean of Theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for not telling me what to think but teaching me how to think. I’m still learning.
Robert Frost wrote, “I am not a teacher, but an awakener.”
I think a good teacher is an awakener.
I’ve had good teachers.
I’m still learning. I’m still waking up.