My widowed father is getting frail with Alzheimer’s and other medical conditions common for an 88-year old WWII veteran. Just as I was getting ready to teach an after-school class of nine-year olds some science the other day, I get an urgent phone call from my sister. Our dad was being rushed into emergency surgery as we spoke, for a serious bowel obstruction. I was torn between abandoning my job immediately to drive the 2-hour trip to get to him, or stay and teach the eager little faces smiling up at me. Realizing that I could do nothing to help him for at least a few hours, I decided to finish the class.

My co-teacher was sooo kind to me. She stepped up and worked harder than ever, knowing that I was very distracted. She did her best so that I could do mine and so I could get on the road as soon as possible. The kids were unusually cooperative and we spent one of the best and most enjoyable hours we’d had yet. I was so grateful!

The next day, however, I was worried about what to do with my other after school classes coming up the next couple of days. I should not have been anxious. Two other co-workers took over so competently and effectively and kindly that I did not even need to make new lessons plans or do a thing. They removed all of my worries and blessed Dad and me in the bargain.

Although these kindnesses were not dramatically heroic, they were very needed at the time. The competence and patience those team members showed me at my hour of need is very typical of teachers. I’m thankful to be a teacher in the company of such good, solid, caring people. – Glenda

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