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 photo of some school supplies and told the story of an encounter he’d had that day. He stated he was feeling “jaded” while shopping at Walmart after two sets of parents reported to him in the Buy School Supplies Online.
“This is simply ridiculous, I don’t understand how these teachers think we are supposed to get all this stuff,” the parents said. “As they complained, they appeared to be oblivious to the fact that my cart was loaded with a class set of all supplies these people were buying … which should happen to be quite a clear indication which i was among those greedy teachers they were complaining about,” Michael wrote inside the post.
Later within the checkout line, a dad before him brightened his day inside an unexpected way. The man was buying school supplies along with his daughter, and after paying, he turned 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 see your cart is full with supplies, and I just wanted to help around I could.”
Michael said he was touched through the heartwarming encounter and in addition 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 put money into it, teachers usually are not to get trusted and have 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 required to make sure it is successful, teachers ought to be respected and valued, and learning requires us giving it everything we have now.’”
Abby said he knows that money is really tight for a few families, who have to battle to buy kids school supplies. “However, as a parent, do your best to send out the correct message to your child,” he added. “The man [who] gave lbtlvz the gift card not only made my day, however i understand that his daughter will enter the classroom this season using a totally 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 a great deal 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 can be crucial.