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Get Out of Here!

by on July 14, 2014

Mr. Peck –

Some teachers are downright mean. Mr. Peck was one of those. He was my tenth grade geometry teacher. I loved geometry. That is curious since math and I do not get along well at all. Sometimes I would go home and make a flat place in the soil in our garden and draw geometry problems to scale in the soil. Such was my fascination with geometry.

Sometimes Mr. Peck would even ask me how to solve a problem. Amazing. Amazing because I did not like math and basically flunked algebra I and II. Well, I did not exactly flunk but I never did figure out how I passed. Geometry was different. It was a different language and it was a language that my mind could understand.

Tenth and eleventh grade was good years for me. Going into twelfth grade, however, I was not in a good frame of mind. I had had enough of school. So, time to relax. Time to fill my schedule with courses that could be breezed through without much effort. So, “consumer math” here I come. This should be good.

First class of consumer math. I looked around at the students in the class. So far, so good. This looks like a class I could like. Twelfth grade will be a break from all the hard work.

Enter Mr. Peck. He sauntered in like the good athlete he was and finally picked up the class list of students on his desk. Then he looked up and the look on his face spelled trouble. He looked at me and said, “What are you doing in here? GET OUT OF HERE! GO UP TO THE GUIDANCE OFFICE AND CHANGE YOUR SCHEDULE.” “The best laid plans of mice and men…”

So, like a whipped puppy, off to the guidance office I went. (You must understand, this was in an age when student’s rights were not.) Guidance lost no time in placing me in the Trigonometry, Calculus and Advanced math class. I shrank with fear and despair.
It was a tough year, for more reasons than one. But it was a year of preparation.

How was I to know that someday I would be a school teacher? How was I to know that someday I would be a school administrator? Mr. Peck seemed to or at least God knew. When life was difficult He made it more difficult. How is that for preparation for life. Somehow, I survived, somehow. The sine, cosine, and tangent are still a bit jumbled in my mind.

What did I learn that prepared me for later years on the other side of the desk?
• Insight into needs of students even when they do not perceive the need.
• Insight into the way that emotional issues can cloud studies.
• Compassion for struggling students in difficult subjects.
• To not take the easy way out.
• To accept the counsel of elders.
• To use similar measures when students make wrong judgments.

Thank you Mr. Peck. You were mean but I needed that.

Thank you Lord. You knew what I needed.

From → Christian Living

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