Abby, that is a math teacher at Lincoln Secondary School in Des Moines, shared a powerful message about parents’ roles in their children’s education on Facebook. Abby posted a photograph of some school supplies and told the tale of an encounter he’d had that day. He said he was feeling “jaded” while shopping at Walmart after two sets of parents complained to him in the Office Supplies In Bulk.
“This is simply ridiculous, I don’t recognize how these teachers think we are meant to get this stuff,” the parents said. “As they complained, they seemed to be oblivious to the fact that my cart was loaded with a class set of all supplies these were buying … that ought to have been quite a clear indication i was one of those particular greedy teachers they were complaining about,” Michael wrote inside the post.
Later inside the checkout line, a dad before him brightened his day within an unexpected way. The man was buying school supplies with his daughter, and after paying, he looked to Michael and handed him a $25 Walmart gift card. “You certainly are a teacher right?” the dad asked. “I just want to be grateful for whatever you do. I visit your cart is full with supplies, and I just desired to help out around I will.”
Michael said he was touched through the heartwarming encounter and also struck by the contrast between that exchange and what he’d heard earlier through the other parents. He wrote regarding the different messages these parents were sending their kids:
“The kids who heard their parents complaining heard this message: ‘School is irrelevant enough to spend money on it, teachers are not to be trusted and have bad judgment, and learning fails to require investment.’
The kid who’s dad handed me the gift card heard, ‘School is very important enough we should give a lot more than needed to ensure it is successful, teachers should be respected and valued, and learning requires us passing it on everything we have.’”
Abby said he realizes that cash is really tight for a few families, that have to find it difficult to buy kids school supplies. “However, as a parent, do your very best to deliver the right message to your child,” he added. “The man [who] gave lbtlvz the gift card not just made my day, but I know that his daughter will go into the classroom this year with a very different perspective about her teacher and her education, and that is certainly extremely powerful!”
Michael’s post clearly resonated with parents and educators, as it’s been shared almost 70,000 times. Though there’s a lot of debate surrounding school supplies ? particularly with regard to costs and quantities ? many commenters thanked the teacher for that important reminder and perspective. Ultimately, children are not oblivious to the messages adults convey. And in terms of education, these messages can be crucial.