It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. . . . [I]t was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness.
(So wrote Charles Dickens in the opening of A Tale of Two Cities.)
You’re too dumb to learn that.
(So stated an English teacher at a community college to a sincere student who was struggling and asking a question privately. I’m of the opinion that this teacher should have retired more than a decade ago, but at last notice, she was still teaching, sadly enough.)
Thank you for caring for _________.
(So said an English teacher at another community college to me. This teacher had been caring so much more consistently than I, yet she paused to notice someone who had been weakly doing a little something here & there. She herself is both a learning model and a true teacher. I hope she doesn’t retire until she’s 90.)
Down deep, he’s as good as gold.
(So said another English teacher—my father—many times, about any number of students regarded by others as “problem students.” Dad has this annoying habit of seeing the good in everyone, and he had many rewarding teaching times because of that and other good qualities. Dad is retired, sort of, yet he is still teaching young students to read. He also tries to teach a few others around him, every once in a while.)
Although some have appreciated what I’ve tried to do for them as a teacher, I may be entering a season of not teaching—either in church or in academia. I will miss the opportunities — which can amount to “the best of times.” I currently feel that I’m in a time of less light, but I remain thankful for examples such as #2 and #3 above.