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John Kespert
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Those Who Can, Do – Those Who Can Do More, Teach

Published on 12/6/2016
For additional information  Click Here

   Those Who Can, Do – Those Who Can Do More, Teach

     The elementary school teacher couldn't help but notice that although most of her students did quite well, there were several who were struggling, especially when it came to reading. Therefore she took the time to talk with each one to see if she could determine what made the difference.

     The teacher soon came to the conclusion that the children who were falling behind were those who had been introduced to reading without any use of phonics. Once she knew that, she grouped those students together and taught them phonics for a part of each day. By the end of that school year, their reading skills improved dramatically, which helped them with all their other subjects as well.

     One of the little girls who came to enjoy reading and learning thanks to that teacher, nevertheless wasn't overly confident in how well she could do when it came to her schooling. Her grades were fairly good, but when she began high school she decided to take the business course of studies rather than the ones to prepare for going to college.

     She did go on to work in business, got married, and had a couple of kids. After a while she started helping out at the school that her children attended. She enjoyed working with the students, and learning new things to help them in the computer lab. It was clear to everyone, including herself, that this was something that she was good at. It got her to wondering if maybe she should study to become a teacher.

     Well, she talked things over with her husband, and he encouraged her to give it a try. She started taking classes. The first semester went well. So did the second. And, wouldn't you know it, she ended up graduating suma cum laude. A big party was held so her friends and extended family could celebrate her success.

     Where did she go from there? Well...she became a teacher, of course. She loved helping children to learn. Was she good at it? Well, when other teachers had a student that they found to be incorrigible, impossible to handle, they'd politely ask her if she'd mind taking that student into her class.

     In one such situation, an unmanageable little boy over time gradually learned to behave himself a little better. Her students who behaved properly got to earn the privilege of become the “teacher” of the class for 5 or 10 minutes. It took awhile, but finally came the day when that youngster earned the coveted reward of becoming the "teacher." He proudly walked to the head of the class, and that teacher sat down at his desk.

     The boy began teaching the lesson, and almost immediately that teacher got up and went over and looked out the window.

     “Mrs. Costello” the boy called out. “I'm teaching, you're supposed to be paying attention.” So Mrs. Costello went back and sat down.

     The boy started teaching again, but soon Mrs. Costello got up and started fiddling with something on a shelf.

     “Mrs. Costello!” exclaimed the boy. “I'm trying to teach!” And so she sat down again. But not long after the boy resumed teaching, she got up again.

     “How can I teach if you keep getting up and distracting everybody,” the boy lamented.

     Mrs. Costello smiled at him, and, as she returned and sat down at the boy's desk, said “Now you know why it is so important for everybody to behave themselves in class.”

     The little boy got the message. And he was just one of her many students who not only learned a lot from her, but also came to dearly love her. And she won the respect and admiration of her fellow teachers.

     Not many years later, her life was cut short due to cancer. A plaque in her memory was put up in that school. There are many who miss her, including me. I had gotten to know her even longer than those at the school did. That amazing woman was my big sister. And, because she was my big sister, she'd been teaching me important things about life right from the start.

     She was a wonderful example of how those who can, do, and those who can do more, teach.

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