Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Real Lesson Learned

Back in September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a social studies school teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock, did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she took all of the desks out of the classroom.

The kids came into first period, they walked in, there were no desks. They obviously looked around and said, "Ms. Cothren, where's our desk?"

And she said, "You can't have a desk until you tell me how you earn them."

They thought, "Well, maybe it's our grades."

"No," she said.

"Maybe it's our behavior."

And she told them, "No, it's not even your behavior."

And so they came and went in the first period, still no desks in the classroom. Second period, same thing. Third period, the same. By early afternoon television news crews had gathered in Ms. Cothren's class to find out about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of the classroom.

The last period of the day, Martha Cothren gathered her class. They were at this time sitting on the floor around the sides of the room. And she says, "Throughout the day no one has really understood how you earn the desks that ordinarily sit in this classroom." She said, "Now I'm going to tell you."

Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it, and as she did 27 U.S. veterans, wearing their uniforms, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. They placed those school desks in rows, and then they stood along the wall. By the time they had finished placing those desks, those students for the first time I think perhaps in their lives understood how they earned those desks.

Martha said, "You don't have to earn those desks. These guys did it for you. They put them out there for you, but it's up to you to sit here responsibly to learn, to be good students and good citizens, because they paid a price for you to have that desk, and don't ever forget it."

She also did a Vietnam memorial service with her classes.

The whole story is located here, complete with sources on

My comment:

Our men and women continue to pay the price, that's why when you see the Bush Administration continue to cut benefits to veterans, and the conditions at Walter Reed Hospital, among countless other things they've done to our veterans, it should make every American, at the very least, upset enough to write to your representative and senators in Washington and absolutely make a statement in the voting booth!

Actually, a quick Google search showed a couple of hundred pages and all of the pages I looked at confirmed the story’s validity. Now, forward something around the 'net that’s true about a very cool teacher, and a lesson well learned.

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