Union Ridge Church

September 11, 2020

by Reverend Dan on September 11, 2020

"Teach God’s laws to your children and to their children after them."

                                                                        Deuteronomy 4:9


And finally, the teachers.


I have a little different perspective on the teachers this year. I have a personal investment because I “have a dog in this fight”. My oldest daughter is in her first year of teaching high school English.


I’ve always admired teachers because I’m not sure I could ever do it. Think of all the influence and responsibility they have for generations of lives.  It can be overwhelming.


When my father was in first grade, his teacher was a first-year teacher named Mrs. Russell. That was in 1942.


Now, if Mrs. Russel had 20 students each year, times the 28 years she taught, that’s 560 lives she touched. 560 lives she set on the path of learning. But it didn’t stop there. If every student she taught shared something she taught them with ten other people, then suddenly she has affected 5,600 lives. And as those children passed on that information, the number would grow exponentially. And all from one lady a little room in an old school building.


And the reason I know she taught 28 years? In 1970, my youngest brother was in first grade and his teacher was in her last year of teaching. Her name was Mrs. Russell. Small town, same teacher.


And then there’s Dr. Shackleford, a first-year professor at Virginia Tech in 1957. That was the year my father graduated from Tech, and he took Dr. Shackleford’s U.S. History class. Dr. Shackleford taught 25 years, 2 semesters with 3 classes of 20 students each . . . you get the idea. Oh, and the way I know he taught 25 years? In 1982 when I took U.S. History while at Tech, it was taught by none other than Dr. Shackleford during his last semester there.


I don’t think we realize the import and impact teachers have on our lives and on this country. They shape and mold our thinking. They challenge and urge us to grow and expand our minds to see the world in new ways and try to make it better. To see history more clearly and to develop new technology for tomorrow.


I pray the teachers for this year will find calm among the confusion, hope in the face of doubt, and that they will plant the seeds of knowledge that will make the world a better place. Good luck and Godspeed to them all.


"Father, Be with the teachers as they shape tomorrow’s world in the minds of their students. In Jesus' name, AMEN."


Grace, Rev. Dan