It’s always interesting to me how worlds can collide.
We had a guest speaker at church tonight, Dr. Tim Kimmel. His sermon was on grace based parenting, particularly, how to get through the sensitive tween years. While I don’t quite have a tween, (gulp.) I was still struck by a story that I think relates to what we do as educators.
While in the 9th grade, Kimmel arrived at gym class one day to see a trampoline in the middle of their gym floor. This being a novelty, before the time when trampolines were a commonplace backyard item, he was pretty excited. Being in a large class, he waited near the front, hoping to get a chance to jump, his eyes locked in on his PE teacher. He couldn’t believe it when his coach asked HIM to take off his shoes and join him on the trampoline. Kimmel ripped off his shoes and climbed up. His classmates, however, were distracted by the fact that Tim had holes in not one, but both, of his socks. In typical 9th grade fashion, the teasing began.
“Do we need to take up a collection? Poor Tim can’t afford new socks…” “Cold up there, Tim?”
He couldn’t even concentrate on what he was getting to do, or what his coach was saying, because his ears were ringing with the sounds of his classmates. He was from a middle class family, they paid their bills on time. He had never given his socks much thought…until now. When the class finally ended, Tim jumped down and escaped quickly. He looked for his gym teacher, but he too, had disappeared. Thinking that he would run home and darn everysinglepair of socks that he had, Tim snuck out a side door and headed downstairs.
“Hey, Tim….wait up”…there was his coach heading his way. Taking off his shoe, showing Tim the big hole in HIS sock, the coach said, “We agile guys, we’re pretty hard on socks aren’t we?” He patted Tim on the back, put his shoe back on, and walked away. Kimmel, having no clue what agile meant, went to his next class, English, because there were dictionaries there. He learned that agile meant:
Our window of opportunity to touch our students’ lives closes faster than we realize. Never let an opportunity to change a child’s life pass you by. I hope that we wind summer down we all start looking for those windows and can be that change for some student…socks be darned.