Educators are special people

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, September 16, 2014

We spent Saturday night at Mother’s – the perfect halfway point between Brewton and Troy.  The T.R. Miller band was invited to join other high school bands from all areas of the state as part of the university’s band day. Unfortunately, the events of the day caught up with many students as fainting spells, asthma and allergy attacks and the like prevented the students from taking the field.

As the group was being corralled toward the bus, the teachers and volunteers worked frantically to make sure no one was left behind or left unattended if ailing.

Oftentimes, people forget how much educators give outside the classroom. They arrive early and stay late to help get a passing grade in algebra. They pull money out of their own pockets to make sure a student doesn’t leave hungry.

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When we arrived to our bed in Covington County late Saturday night, I had to check in with Facebook when I read the news about two of my favorite educators – both of whom who’d passed away.

Bernard Martin taught junior high math, a subject that has been my mortal enemy. A quiet man, he always had a kind word to say. When my father was deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, he never let a day go by without checking on my family.

Eloise Judson was a grand lady who, in her retirement, was never seen without the grandest of hats. And I say “lady” because that was what she was. She never raised her voice and some how magically taught me to tell time after giving me my first “F” in the second grade.

She’s also the lady, who after more than a decade after my graduation, sent me a letter in the mail. Inside was a Weekly Reader book form marked in my mother’s handwriting, the $1 bill still attached.

In the grand scheme of things those little actions don’t mean much, but to me, they’re a big something. It proves that it takes a special kind of person to be a teacher.

While most would say teachers like that are not common place these, I would be there are more around than we know. Just the other day, I overheard a local teachers comment about how her classroom is filled before and after school with students needing that little extra help.

There are those educators who give a little extra push to those who need it, and there are those who have made it a life mission to prepare our children for the world.

And to those who have students come back after graduation just to say “thanks,” my hat is off to you, and I say “thank you” for a job well done.