Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Here's To Mr. C and Teachers Everywhere

*School has started back all over the country and I thought what better way to start the school year than with a guest post from a former teacher, now writer. Please welcome a new writing friend, Hally Franz. I met Hally in our critique writing group. She is a wonderful writer and writes regularly over at her website, Bloom, Bond, Build.


As I sat down to write this devotion, something happened. It’s the thing that happens more frequently these days. Perhaps it’s due to aging or simply cramming too many things into this taxed brain of mine.

 It was a case of brain freeze, and not the kind one gets when drinking a thirst-quenching, but painful, blue slush.

It’s good we are all back in school! It’s time to get those minds working again. Time for routine and order in our lives. Time for a little time apart. 

As I send my seventh- and eleventh-graders to school, I pray they will have productive and fun years. Then, I thank God for some peace and quiet for my taxed brain.

I recently thought about my sixth-grade teacher. He was a tall, young, black man. In the 1970’s, particularly in our rural community, that was an unlikely description for one of our teachers. The vast majority of elementary teachers were women, and even fewer African-American teachers. I’ll call him “Mr. C.”  

Mr. C. was one of my favorites for a few simple reasons. First, he was cool, but no one messed with him. There were no discipline issues in his class. Of course, there weren’t many discipline issues in any classes at that time. (My second and third are better.)

So, secondly, Mr. C. made it a habit to announce those who had the best test grades. That practice may not be very PC today, but I loved it. I wasn’t always named, but it happened enough to be a motivator. 

Thirdly, there was one day a couple of years later when I passed Mr. C. in the hallway. I had grown taller and thinner since sixth grade, and he paid me a nice compliment. That feels good to a chubby girl.

It’s funny what we remember about our teachers. Sometimes, it’s the smallest, seemingly insignificant things that touch the hearts and minds of students. Veteran educators have learned this.

They know the importance of their words and examples to their students, and they take it seriously. Mr. C. went to his Heavenly home a few years ago, and it made me sad.

I am happy, dare I say gleeful, to have turned my children over to their new teachers. And, while I pray for their year, I will also pray for the teachers. What a blessing they are.   

A former teacher and high school guidance counselor, Hally appreciates the importance of educators in our children’s lives. Now a stay-at-home mom, freelance writer, and part-time church secretary, she and her husband, Tim, have a 13-year-old daughter and a 17-year-old son. Hally is both an adoptive and a biological parent, a 4-H leader, a cheer booster, and an enthusiastic book club member. Visit Hally at her blog:!


  1. Hi Alecia, and hello to Hally (nice to meet you!),

    Hally, thanks for sharing your story of Mr. C with us. I know we can all reflect back smilingly to teachers in our past who encouraged and inspired us. For me, I had an English teacher, Mrs. W, who inspired me. :) Nice to meet you.


    Thanks for your comment over on my post "The Thing to Know on a Day (or month) of Firsts." You've just done a move too, huh? It's exciting and filled with thanks, yet changes and transitions as well.

    Thanks, friend.

    Jennifer Dougan

  2. Great memories of your teacher who had such an impact on you. Being a teacher yourself gives you insight into what a struggle the teachers go through. Things are getting harder for them especially for those who are Christians. They need all the encouragement they can get. Good post.

  3. Hi, Jennifer. Thanks for reading. It's interesting that we all have a few that come to mind as the best of the best. It seems people find it easy to find fault with teachers these days, and, in truth, the job is harder than ever. We need to support these professionals. Thanks, Hally

  4. Thanks, Betty, for your comments. You are so right! Hally


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