SWEET TEA

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

It's never too late to say "Thank You"!



I was quite the shy 15 yr old girl taking a high school history class being taught by a teacher "who had issues".  The class was mainly male students, most of them athletes.  The teacher was a man who mainly coached, but taught a couple of history classes to round out his schedule.  He seated all the athletes at the front of the class and seated the small remainder of the class ( about 5 girls and 2 guys) at the back.  He ruled the class by intimidation .  The rules of the classroom changed daily, depending on his mood, so each day was different than the previous.  When tests were given he often read the students wrong answers aloud to the class so everyone could have a good laugh.  I quickly learned it was safer to simply leave an answer I was unsure of blank, rather than subject myself to being laughed at.  I passed the course, but this teacher remains in my memory as the absolute worst teacher I ever had.  His classroom behavior would never be tolerated in a school today.

One day our homework assignment was to bring a newspaper article to class that had to do with something we were studying.  I brought an article to class and was randomly chosen with three others to come to the front of the class with our article.  He began with me.  He didn't like the article I had chosen and the ridicule and belittling began...I was embarrassed and humiliated.  As the teacher ranted, a tall boy seated at the front of the class, raised his hand.  The teacher called on him.

"Coach, I brought the same article."

The teacher was disgustingly surprised.
"Did any one else bring this article?", he asked the class.
A few other hands were raised.

The scolding was deflected from me and now simply given to the class in general.

I never personally knew the tall guy at the front of the class who was responsible for helping me out of the uncomfortable situation, but I knew his name.  He was at the party we attended over the weekend.  I had the opportunity to thank him and tell him how I still remembered his act of kindness.  He didn't even remember the incident, but I certainly did.  The guy is now a retired teacher, himself, and could only shake his head as he remembered that teacher/coach.
It's never too late to say "Thank you"!
So glad I had this opportunity.


17 comments:

laurie said...

what a great story, and good advice

Madi and Mom said...

Wow what a story and you are right
a heartfelt thank you is always appropriate.
My algebra teacher may have been your History teacher's sister.
Hugs C

Marsha @Spots and Wrinkles said...

I loved this post! And good for you for taking time to thank him, even if he did not remember the incident. Once on a class trip, I was in line to pay for a snack and suddenly realized I was 25cents short. The boy behind me noticed my dilemma and quietly handed me a quarter and never said a word. Must have been your history class hero's brother. :)

CalamityJr said...

I think my Spanish teacher was their aunt!

Shelly said...

What a terrific, heartwarming story! And teachers like that coach make me cringe.

Mari said...

Just goes to show, that we never know what an affect something we do could have on someone else. I'm sure that guy was happy to hear what a difference his actions made for you!

karen said...

It's funny how so often the little random acts of kindness we perform aren't even remembered by us - and yet they're huge in the recipient's memory.
My kids had teachers like that, and it's painful to even think about the hurt they inflicted. Thank goodness my kids always had me to advocate for them - other kids may not have been so lucky. I'm glad you had your chance to thank your old friend.

NanaDiana said...

How wonderful that he stepped up to the plate and "saved" you from further punishment- xo Diana

Terra said...

That is so good that you saw the guy who helped you out and thanked him. I am sure he smiles when he thinks about your thank you. I wrote a thank you to my favorite college professor about 7 years after I graduated, care of the college, and hope he got the letter.

Nonnie said...

What a brave thing for a 15 year old boy to do, given the coach's penchant for humiliating his students. My history teacher at that age was also a coach. He was very sarcastic and I remember one time he made one of the girls stuff almost an entire box of milk duds in her mouth because he caught her eating one.

It's great that you were able to thank him. I bet you made his day!

yaya said...

How great that you were able to say thanks to him. It's also great he didn't remember his act of kindness..I'm sure he's done many in his lifetime not looking for recognition, just doing the right thing at the right time. Love it!

Say What? said...

I love this. I'm so glad you were able to say "Thank You". I should do that more often; in fact ... every chance I get!

STILLMAGNOLIA said...

When I was in school I had an experience that was much the same...because of it...I hated high school and I hated most teachers....but God has an amazing sense of humor and for the past 25 years I have been in a high school classroom....as a teacher. The good thing here is that I too still remember those bad days and make sure I don't repeat them with them.

nancygrayce said...

Oh, what a great guy! I'm not sure I was ever real shy, but I didn't like teachers who picked on me or any other student! I'm sure he made the same impact on every other student he taught too.

Bobbi said...

What a great story!! It must have felt really good to be able to say thank you to this very nice gentleman. Sometimes it seems like the world is full of mean people... then you run into someone kind... like him. Thanks for sharing!

justsoyouknow said...

This post convinced me to say thank you to someone whom i firmly believes deserves a thank you word straight form my month.

Ed Butowsky

Nicole said...

What a great post!

Thanks for stopping by Journey to Excellence. I have two third graders next year, and have a great friend with whom we do some fun learning. But, I also have a sophomore son, and I am totally alone on that one. He is a great kid, smart as a whip, but not a "typical" student, so we are not involved in any of the co-ops. They do academics in a way that we don't, and he's not interested. It's lonely sometimes, but I spend a lot of time blogging about him, and there is where I gain my support. Plus, he thinks I'm great, so that's all that really matters.

I'm here if you would like to share what you are doing! :)

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