Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Good Lesson

Quoted from the Bull Sheet from Larimer County Sheriff's Office:

Martha Cothren is a social studies school teacher in Arkansas and the daughter of a World War II POW. On the first day of school a few years back and with the permission of school personnel, Martha removed all 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 are 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, 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 deskless classroom, Martha Cothren said, “Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he/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 U.S. Veterans, all in uniforms, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The Vets began placing the 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.” If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you read it in English, thank a soldier.

3 comments:

Momstheword said...

Terrific! I think I may have heard that before. It certainly drive home the point, doesn't it? Besides, the only rights we have are: the right to life, liberty and the PURSUIT of happiness. The first has already been violated with abortion. Nowhere does it say we have a right to school desks, health care, education, health insurance, etc. Those are what we are to pursue in order to have happiness. My opinion.

QOTW said...

That's a good opinion.

Robin said...

I love that story - got it in an email too - more people need to read it.