Engaging views and analysis from outside contributors on the issues affecting society and faith today.

CP VOICES do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).

Current Page: Voices | | Coronavirus →
Be that teacher

Be that teacher

Unsplash/Deleece Cook

As I listened to his story, I realized just how influential a teacher can be.

It was more of a pathway in the woods than a road. Overhanging limbs brushed the windshield and scraped the side of the truck. The road meandered upwards with no end in sight. But I followed it anyway. Recent rains had filled all the potholes, effectively disguising just how deep they were. My truck bounced mercilessly.

Coming up a final incline, a curl of smoke and the top of a metal chimney pipe came into view. Then I saw a woodshed that somehow had become a home.  Knocking on the door, I could hear whispering, then the door cracked open to reveal a woman staring at me with bloodshot eyes. “Yeah?”

Her question was all the greeting I’d get. I explained I was her son’s teacher and that I missed seeing him at school. What I didn’t say, is that his absences had led to his being held back last year, and so far, he was on pace to fall behind again, unless he came to school more regularly.

I could see her son standing at the far end of the small room. He was tall for a 10-year-old. He was wearing the same clothes he wore when he did come to school—ragged jeans and a tee shirt. His mom was hungover and the small shed reeked of cigarette smoke and booze. I tried not to look like I noticed.

She opened the door wide enough so she could look at me better. Maybe something in her knew she wanted a better life for her son. I don’t know. But I said that if she could have her son at the bottom of her driveway every school day, I’d make sure he got to school.

The boy and I looked at each other. I smiled and handed him a wind-up clock. I told him to wind it up before he went to bed and pull out the alarm button and then he wouldn’t be late. I knew we couldn’t depend on his mom.

That became a new beginning. I’d be at the bottom of that woodland road at the appointed time. The boy would be waiting. The rest of that school year we both learned a lot. I realized just how hard some kids have it, and he managed to overcome those hard circumstances. That boy went onto the next grade, and even though I wasn’t his teacher, we liked our morning and afternoon routine and kept it up throughout his school days.

When I watched him graduate from high school, I saw him look for my face in the crowd. I admit, I cried.

That boy went on to become a teacher—and he’s on the lookout for students like he was. How do I know? I was that boy. And all I ever wanted was to be that teacher.

Karen Farris served in the crisis pregnancy ministry — traveling thousands of miles and speaking to over 10,000 students about their life choices — for nearly a dozen years. She became a grant writer and helps find resources for projects that serve those in poverty, mainly children. She's been a blogger since 2010 — Friday Tidings — sharing stories of faith, life, and purpose to give hope in a hurting world.


Most Popular