People all across the nation are sharing what they are thankful for day by day for twenty-eight days leading up to Thanksgiving. Facebook friends have really been sharing from truly thankful hearts all the things they are thankful for and feel so blessed by God.
If you can read this, then you should – along with me – be thankful for teachers. When kids are in school they usually have a few great teachers that will leave an imprint on their lives forever – and a few that will leave them with bad memories.
As a member of the “golden age” group, I along with so many of my age enjoy sharing memories on Facebook sites - such as where they went to elementary school, high school and college. Everyone there seems to have vivid memories of teachers who made a difference in their lives.
Truly schools have changed drastically since that first Thanksgiving Day. After people emerged from the dark ages, they realized more and more how important an education was for their children. There are still countries and religions who feel that education is only for boys; and will one day regret the missed opportunities that should have been for girls as well.
I am so thankful for the educational opportunities afforded the boys and girls, and men and women in this nation. Without countless hundreds of thousands of dedicated teachers in this country where would we be?
There are colleges and universities in America that is almost as old as the country itself.
Question: What is the oldest school started in America? When was it started and where is it located? Give-up?
According to Info Please, it is Boston Latin School in Boston, Mass. Started in 1635, and five of the signers of the U.S. Constitution attended this school. They were John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Treat Paine, and William Hooper. Interested? Read more about this school here.
Since that very first school, it is estimated that there are over 100, 000 public schools and that does not count trade schools and other specialty schools.
You could say the school system has grown somewhat.
Great teachers have always been in demand. So much so that when the nation grew and began to spread from sea to shining sea, school classes would be held anywhere a teacher could be found and a group of kids wanting to learn. Make-shift schools appeared wherever a community sprang up. Many times the school building doubled as a church as well. Most all of the early schools in America were established through the religious beliefs of the people. Today those beliefs are taboo at the little red school house.
Today, even in days of yore, we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the teachers who dedicate themselves to education and the willingness to share what they have learned with those willing to learn as well.
Teachers seem to know from an early age that teaching is not just a job or career; but a calling. They work hard toward their own education – study for years and then take all sorts of tests themselves. And then, with butterflies in their stomach, they face that first classroom of kids – some eager to learn and others not.
They have to put in long hours in the classroom both before and after the bell rings, and they take a lot of work home with them – grading papers, writing lesson plans, and other tedious things.
Daily, they face unruly children who left their etiquette and manners at home – even if they had any – and then have to put up with irate parents who seem to think everything is the teacher’s fault because precious little Johnny says, “My teacher don’t like me!”
Recently in this nation we have heard the horrifying news of so many teachers giving their lives to protect our children against gunmen who thought little of taking their lives; and the lives of so many innocent children. However, you might be surprised to know this is nothing new in this country. For as far back in the 1760’s there is recorded history of children dying at the end of a gun - either by accident or on purpose.
“The earliest known United States shooting to happen on school property was the Pontiac's Rebellion school massacre on July 26, 1764, where four Lenape American Indians entered the schoolhouse near present-day Greencastle, Pennsylvania, shot and killed schoolmaster Enoch Brown, and killed nine or ten children (reports vary). Only three children survived.” For a long, long list of school shootings since that time, you can check out Wikipedia at this link.
Since the Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012, there have been seven more shootings in school houses in America. Teachers work in what has become a war zone and should receive combat pay.
This past August here in Georgia, a young man armed to the teeth entered Ronald E. McNair with the intention of killing innocents. A brave staff member at the school talked this young man into surrendering before he actually shot and killed anyone. However, he had fired shots inside the school.
Antoinette Tuff in an interview on ABC's "World News with Diane Sawyer" said she worked to convince the gunman to put down his weapons and ammunition. You can read about the bravery of this lady and how she saved no telling how many students and staff members.
Needless to say a teacher has to have the mind of an Einstein, the heart of Mother Theresa, the eyes of a hawk, the patience of Job, the endurance of a tri-athlete, the soul of an angel and the enough grit her spit to tough it out with some of America’s roughest future Bonnie and Clydes.
Dear God: I am so thankful to you for teachers in every field from K-12, College, and beyond. Thank you for those who are eager to learn in order to teach. Thank you for those who teach so diligently and who receive little recognition for all that they do to help shape the lives and destinies of America’s future generation.
Thank you God for Sunday School teachers who dedicate themselves to guide people in their quest for a closer understanding and walk with You. Thank you for parents who are teachers in the home who teach their children discipline, give them love, and demonstrates the Christ-filled life before their children.
God bless the teachers who because of the godliness in this country are not even allowed to mention You or Your Son or to teach as they did in schools of yore. Because of the few who deny You, students have been deprived of a really true education. Because knowing about God is as important as knowing about algebra. And we all know they will need and use algebra less.
God forgive those who have come along thinking they know more than the forefathers who laid down the foundations of this country and have denied students the most important lessons to be learned – those lessons in Your Holy Word.” Amen
Hosea 4:6 is a very scary verse which speaks of knowledge. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being my priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.”
If you are thankful for the teachers in your life and can still do so, why not let them know it this Thanksgiving. If you are a parent, let your children’s teacher know that you appreciate their efforts to teach and also protect your children while they are at school. Give that special Sunday School teacher a hug and let them know how much they mean to you.
For a slide show from schools in 1910 to present day check this out. From blackboards to IPads.
Thank you Miss Annie Francis Flanigan, fifth-grade teacher, at Luckie Street Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia. You dedicated your life to teaching the kids of other people and you were the very first TV teacher here in Atlanta on Public Broadcasting. Your life was well lived. I am so glad I found you some years back and we were able to reminisce back to the old days and I was able to thank you for what you meant to me then and for the rest of my life. May you rest with the angels knowing that you were effective at teaching morals as well as math.