Abby, who is a math teacher at Lincoln Secondary 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 on that day. He explained he was feeling “jaded” while shopping at Walmart after two sets of parents complained to him in the Bulk Office Supplies.
“This is merely ridiculous, I don’t recognize how these teachers think we are meant to get all this stuff,” the mother and father said. “As they complained, they seemed to be oblivious to the fact that my cart was full of a class set of all the supplies these were buying … which should have already been a fairly clear indication which i was among those greedy teachers these were complaining about,” Michael wrote inside the post.
Later within the checkout line, a dad facing 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 simply want to thank you for everything you do. I view your cart is full with supplies, and that i just wished to help out just as much as I can.”
Michael said he was touched by the heartwarming encounter as well as struck by the contrast between that exchange and what he’d heard earlier from the other parents. He wrote regarding 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 usually are not to be trusted and possess bad judgment, and learning does not 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.’”
Abby said he realizes that money is really tight for many families, who may have to find it difficult to buy kids school supplies. “However, as a parent, do your very best to send out the right message to your child,” he added. “The man [who] gave lbtlvz the gift card not merely made my day, however i realize that his daughter will enter the classroom this season with a completely 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 lot of debate surrounding school supplies ? particularly pertaining to 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.