A High School Teacher Imparts A Lesson

This Wednesday is Veteran’s Day. I am planning a very special post for that day. I will be doing a video about something that I did on my radio show for many years on Veteran’s Day.

I think that it’s a great idea to say, “Thank you,” whenever you see a veteran, but especially on Veteran’s Day. This Wednesday, express your gratitude to our veterans.  When my dad was alive, I used to call him on Veteran’s Day to thank him for his service to our country.

This morning, I thought you might enjoy reading a true story about a high school teacher in Arkansas and what she did to teach her students.

Enjoy this story.

It Happened In 2005

Back in September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a social studies school teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock, did something not to be forgotten.

On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks out of her classroom. When the first period kids entered the room they discovered that there were no desks.

Looking around, confused, they asked, “Ms. Cothren, where’re our desks?”

She replied, “You can’t have a desk until you tell me what you have done to earn the right to sit at a desk.

They thought, “Well, maybe it’s our grades.”

No,” she said.

“Maybe it’s our behavior.”

She told them, “No, it’s not even your behavior.”

And so, they came and went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom. By early afternoon, television news crews had started gathering in Ms. Cothren’s classroom to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her room.

The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the classroom devoid of desks, Martha Cothren said, “Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he or she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom.

Now I am going to tell you.”

At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it. Twenty-seven (27) U.S. Veterans, all in uniforms, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand alongside the wall.

By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place, those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned.

Martha said, “You didn’t earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. Now, it’s up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don’t ever forget it.”

Sometimes we only hear the bad news.  But there are a lot of really good teachers out there.  Maybe they are not as dramatic as Martha, but many of them are doing their best to really teach the children.

In fact, one of my neighbors, Len, has been a teacher for many years. He has a wonderful heart for his students. I am thankful for all those teachers who are truly helping our children.  God bless you!

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4 thoughts on “A High School Teacher Imparts A Lesson

  1. Mike this was just awfully good. My dil is a principal in an innercity school in the roughest part of Indianapolis, IN. It is an elementary school and you wouldn’t believe what she has to deal with on a daily basis. First graders with guns, first graders acting out sex, boys going into girls bathrooms and again, acting out sexual acts, etc. I could go on and on. It’s hard for me to comprehend kids that young, even knowing about sex and drugs, let alone bringing guns and knives to school. which they have done already this year. When parents are asked to come to school for a conference, they don’t show up. We need to pray for the teachers and school officials safety and wisdom. Thanks, Rosie

  2. Hi Scott!
    Thanks for leaving a comment.
    Yes, quite a lesson, and, those students will probably never forget it!
    God bless you,