Serious thinking comes very easily to me. I enjoy a great joke, laugh, pun, or prank anytime! However, as a teacher, I always seem prone to follow each with a serious sidebar. I feel an awesome sense of responsibility for these little first graders since Jesus gave a strong admonition to teachers: “If anyone harms the least of these little ones, it would be better for him to drown with a millstone tied around his neck.” My serious teaching moments are not as awesome as Aesop’s fables, but they are given with all the love and guidance I can muster. I want my students to grow up with common sense and a positive self-concept.
To keep us all on track, I have the pictures of two former students on the upper left corner of my board where students and I can see them daily. These students both died at the age of seventeen. One was always the disruptive student, hyper as all get out, and in everybody’s face. Unfortunately, he was knifed by a rival football player from another school at a party outside the city limits. He bled out before his friends could reach the hospital with him.
The other student was the son of one of my teachers. He had a learning disability, so school was rather difficult for him. However, he was a sweet young man. Again, an unfortunate situation killed him: he had his first real job delivering lumber along with another young man who was driving the truck too fast and lost control, killing my former student when the truck smashed into a tree.
My serious teaching to my students of today: both boys did overcome severe problems. The first student became a Christian, a popular football hero, and was a friend to others. In fact, he was defending a young girl from his attacker at the time of his death. The second student also became a Christian and was a wonderful friend to others. He was doing well in high school before he died.
The serious note: both boys were among the many students who have sat in my classes and learned that life is a gift from God. None of us know how long our lives will last, or where the road of life is about to take us. However, the wisdom teachings found in Proverbs in the Bible can help us have a good legacy to leave behind. I want it to matter that each child passes through my classroom knowing that each day matters, because we may never pass this way again. None of us will ever again be assembled together in the exact same way living the exact same experience again. Enjoy and make the most of each moment!