Monday, April 30, 2007

How to earn a desk.

Now, this is a teacher!

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 sit in this classroom ordinarily." 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. And they placed those school desks in rows, and then they stood along the wall. And by the time they had finished placing those desks, those kids 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."

I want you to know that I did go to Snopes and make sure this is true before I posted and, indeed, Mrs. Cothren taught her kids this amazing lesson. Now, it is up to you to teach it to your children!

2 comments that make my day!:

kansmom said...

now THAT brought a tear to my eye. tfs!!! believe me our whole family knows we earn everything we have. My son served a year in Iraq and we are forever greatful to ALL who serve for our country!!!
Maybe all the schools should have this posted on their walls.
Tina

Kristine said...

WOWZERS!! Now THAT'S what teaching is all about! :) I agree with Kansmom, that it should be posted in all the schools! My father-in-law fought in WW2 and now has both legs amputated at 82 yrs. old. He JUST NOW got his medals that mom sent in for. Many go unrecognized or even thanked. That's a great story. THANKS Lorie!!