One of the teachers who had a major impact on my daughter’s life was her high school English teacher, Ms. Wright*. She was young, involved, and very interested in making sure her students did well. Ms. Wright was impressed with Aiyana’s writing and her commitment to her studies. She shared with me on several occasions that she believed Aiyana was “destined to do great things.”
In Aiyana’s last year of high school, Ms. Wright was very involved in helping her and other students prepare for the SAT. She also promised to assist some of them with completing their college applications.
It was also during that year that some hard decisions had to be made regarding one particular class. For the first time in her school experience, after being recommended by Ms. Wright to be placed in a college prep English course, Aiyana came face-to-face with a teacher who made it clear that no matter how well she did, she would never be able to get better than a C+ in the class. As a concerned parent, I became involved, and after meeting with the teacher of that class, I knew that if something wasn’t done, my daughter would suffer the consequences of actions that had nothing to do with her ability as a student.
Fortunately, Ms. Wright and her advisor were aware of the problem and took matters into their hands to resolve the situation. About six weeks into the year, Aiyana was switched to an honors English class. The end result was that she quickly caught up to the others in the class and received the grade she deserved because of her hard work.
Ms. Wright remained true to her word and helped, not only Aiyana, but other students as well. She spent many hours, helping her complete her 10 college applications. Aiyana was accepted into eight of the schools and put on the waiting list for the other two. She ended up choosing Oakwood University (formerly Oakwood College).
There are many educators like Ms. Wright, who are dedicated, committed, and who will go beyond the call of duty to ensure the success of their students. Most often they go unnoticed and, I’m sure, rarely do they hear the “thank you” they deserve.
We are again at the beginning of another school year. With the days passing so quickly, it seems as though there was very little time between the end of last school year and the beginning of this one.
Teachers are busy preparing classrooms; buses have begun to roll; store shelves are stocked with all types of school supplies ready for the big rush; some children are winding down from their summer vacation, and others have already started classes.
Regardless of what grade a child is entering when they return to school, getting an education is something to be excited about. Education is not merely a privilege, it is a right; and many educators are making great sacrifices to ensure that our children maximize that right.
As the 2016-2017 school year begins, I want to take a moment to recognize educators everywhere, who sacrifice their time, resources, finances, and more to provide a safe, engaging learning environment for our children. Please know that, even though you may not hear it often, you are loved and appreciated for the many sacrifices you make.
I share a special scripture text my dad often shared with me: “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up”—Galatians 6:9, NLT.
We are praying for a safe, fun, and engaging school year, for you and the students in your charge.
Ednor A. P. Davison is the assistant to the president for communication in the Atlantic Union Conference and editor of the Atlantic Union Gleaner.
Ms. Wright* – not her real name