Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Teacher (10/26/06)
TITLE: Mr. Garman and the Front of the Line
By Lisa Vest
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He had a way of making everyone feel special. And one day he made me feel especially special. Looking back now, it seems like it was no big deal, but to my seven-year-old heart and mind, it was a wonderful, awesome, special day. So what did Mr. Garman do to make me feel so special?
At the end of the school day, we would line up to leave. One particular day, I was at the back of the line, waiting to go home. I’ll never know why, but Mr. Garman picked me up by my elbows and lifted me up and put me at the very front of the line. I can’t describe how happy that made me. It made me feel so special and made such an impact on me.
As adults, whether we are “licensed” teachers or not, we are never without the ability to teach a child a variety of lessons. We greatly underestimate the power of influence we can have on tender, pliable hearts and minds. At the other end of the spectrum of my story is the great damage that our unthoughtful words and actions can also have on the children around us. How many times as parents, teachers, aunts, uncles have we spoken to the children in our lives in a harsh, angry tone, because of our impatience? How many times have we ignored them when they are trying to show us something?
Children are like a blank canvas. Our words and actions paint the picture of the person they will become. What a responsibility we carry to protect, shape and mold the children around us. No wonder Jesus warned us in Mark 9:42, “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea”.
So next time you’re around children, remember you have great ability to teach them a lesson; that they are special and that they have great worth. Something as simple as a smile and a compliment can make a positive impact that stays with them for a lifetime. Mr. Garman showed me the power of affirmation. I’m sure he had no idea the impact he had on me when he put me at the front of the line. To this day if you ask me who my favorite teacher was, I would (and always will) say…Mr. Garman.
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