Remberance Day Thoughts

Now She is a Teacher

In September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren a history teacher at Valley Heights High School in Port Rowan, Ontario did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school with the permission of the school superintendent, the principle & the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks in her classroom. When the first period kids entered the room they discovered that there were no desks.

“Ms. Cothren, where are our desks?”

She replied, “You can’t have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk.”
They thought, “Well maybe it’s our grades.” “No,” she replied.

“Maybe it’s our behavior.” She told them “No, it’s not even your behavior.”

And so they came & went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom. Kids called their parents to tell them what was happening & by early afternoon television news crews had started gathering at the school to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her room.

The final period of the day came & as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the desk-less room, Martha Cothren said, “Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he or 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 (27) Veterans, all in uniform walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The “vets” began placing the school desks in rows & then they would walk over & 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. They went halfway around the world, giving up their education & interrupting their careers & families so you could have the freedom you have. 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.”
By the way this is a true story. This teacher was awarded “Veterans of Foreign Wars Teacher of the year in 2006. She is the daughter of a WW ll POW.

I received this from Marcine Roach. Thanks Marcine.

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