This week is Teacher Appreciation Week in the United States, and today is National Teacher Day. In honor of today, and teachers everywhere, I would like to tell a story.
Once upon a time, there was a very shy tween, who refused to join the 7th grade volleyball team because the coach, who was also to be her science teacher, scared her. And not just scared her, but scared her something fierce.
“Surely, no good can come out of my taking this class or going to school at all,” the young girl told her parents. “Please, home-school me.” Unfortunately, her pleas were ignored, and the young girl began her 7th grade year.
Having not died on the first day or at any point during the first week, the young girl felt that maybe school would be OK this year. The science teacher, while somewhat scary, had lofty goals for his students and expected much, which did not seem like a bad thing to the young girl. However, she did dread the science fair project, which would require her to stand in front of people and talk about something sciency. The very idea mortified her.
But, she would survive. Toward the end of the school year, the science teacher selected a small group of students, including the young girl, to go on a mini fieldtrip. The group was to collect water samples to study the next day in class. On the drive home, the science teacher looked in the rearview mirror, directly at the young girl, and asked why she did not play volleyball that year.
“Because you scare me,” the young girl replied matter-of-factly, a big reply for a very shy girl. The science teacher responded with something the young girl never forgot:
“Don’t ever let someone keep you from doing what you were born to do.”
The young girl thought the science teacher made an excellent point and that maybe he was not quite as scary as originally thought. Unlike the science fair project, which always remained scary.
The following year, the young girl tried out for and made the 8th grade volleyball team. During the course of that season, she began to shed her shy shell and peeled her wallflower self away from the wall. In the years to come, the young girl, who would not necessarily remain so young, continued to play volleyball. And, she would always remember the words of her 7th grade science teacher and 8th grade volleyball coach.
Because a person cannot fully live if she allows someone, something or fear to keep her from doing what she is supposed to do.
Thanks, Mr. Weber!