Please excuse me for sharing another story about my father. I promise to return to writing about teaching and learning soon. But as I process Dad's passing and what comes next, it's hard to concentrate on anything else. Besides, this story seems appropriate for Teacher Appreciation Week.
|Dad and Kathy at the house|
The other day I was agonizing about cleaning out the family home. Dad did nearly all of the work last year. I just needed to finish the job. Some of the furniture was coming to live with us, and a few other pieces were going up to our cabin. The rest was either going to charity or to the dump. I had talked to a local charity about stopping by to pick up a few of the gently-used items, but I was struggling with making a decision about how to dispose of the remaining pieces.
There were too many choices. I could try taking it to the dump myself, or hire a dumpster, or call a hauling company to pick it up. Paralysis crept in and nothing was getting done. Then I remembered a receipt in my dad's papers for "Acme" Hauling. He had done some business with them during the initial clean-up - twice. Dad obviously trusted this company, so I decided to call.
It was the right call. The owner answered and he agreed to give me an estimate. As I was getting ready to say good bye, ...
Owner: I was sad to read about your dad's passing.
Me: Thanks. [I was getting good at this - keep it short and end the conversation]
Owner: I went to MSHS. My name is "John Doe" and your dad was one of my math teachers.
Me: Oh, hi "John". [Can I hang up now?]
John: I wasn't the best student in school. I got into a lot of trouble. But I liked your Dad. He always gave me a fair chance. No matter what happened the day before, each class was a fresh start. I never had a teacher like that before. It's probably not surprising that math was my best class in high school.
Me: [silence - I bet you can guess why]
John: Anyways, call me when you want me to stop by and give you an estimate.
Me: Okay. Thanks.
Later, I told Kathy that I had learned a valuable lesson that day: Trust Dad. Who would Dad call? When possible, one of his former students. Someone he had built a positive relationship with and prepared for future success.
|Dad and the MSHS Science Olympiad Team|