Abby, who is a math teacher at Lincoln High School in Des Moines, shared a strong message about parents’ roles in their children’s education on Facebook. Abby posted a picture of some school supplies and told the story of an encounter he’d had that day. He explained he was feeling “jaded” while shopping at Walmart after two sets of parents reported to him in the Bulk Office Supplies.
“This is merely ridiculous, I don’t understand how these teachers think we are supposed to get all this stuff,” the parents said. “As they complained, they seemed to be oblivious to the fact that my cart was loaded with a category set of all supplies they were buying … which ought to have been a pretty clear indication which i was one of those particular greedy teachers these people were complaining about,” Michael wrote inside the post.
Later within the checkout line, a dad in front of him brightened his day inside an unexpected way. The person was buying school supplies together with his daughter, and after paying, he looked to Michael and handed him a $25 Walmart gift card. “You are a teacher right?” the dad asked. “I only want to thank you for anything you do. I view your cart is full with supplies, and that i just wanted to help out just as much as I could.”
Michael said he was touched from the heartwarming encounter as well as struck through the contrast between that exchange and what he’d heard earlier from your other parents. He wrote about the different messages these parents were sending their children:
“The kids who heard their parents complaining heard this message: ‘School is not important enough to put money into it, teachers are not to get trusted and possess bad judgment, and learning fails to require investment.’
The kid who’s dad handed me the gift card heard, ‘School is essential enough we should give greater than necessary to ensure it is successful, teachers needs to be respected and valued, and learning requires us passing it on everything we have.’”
Abby said he understands that money is really tight for many families, who have to find it difficult to buy kids school supplies. “However, as a parent, do your best to send out the best message for your child,” he added. “The man [who] gave lbtlvz the gift card not only made my day, but I understand that his daughter will enter in the classroom this coming year with a very different perspective about her teacher and her education, and that is extremely powerful!”
Michael’s post clearly resonated with parents and educators, as it’s been shared almost 70,000 times. Though there’s significant amounts of debate surrounding school supplies ? particularly regarding costs and quantities ? many commenters thanked the teacher for the important reminder and perspective. Ultimately, children are not oblivious to the messages adults convey. And with regards to education, these messages may be crucial.