Oct 19

An Apple For The Teacher

Mr. Swick was surprised when the student reached into her backpack and pulled out an apple. With a huge grin on her face she thanked him for being so helpful and nice. Wow, an apple for the teacher! Mr. Swick is both flattered and amazed. To him, the kind gesture would represent an extraordinary chain of events …

Kenton Swick was a first-year teacher. This was his planning period and there were no students about. He sat at his desk near the window staring down at the traffic below. He wasn’t seeing anything … his mind was on last period when the quiet little 7th grader had come up to his desk and offered him the beautifully polished, plump red apple.

He could hardly believe students still gave apples to teachers. It used to be a traditional gesture to show the student’s appreciation, back in the day. Mr. Swick was very moved … he felt he was beginning to understand the circle of life a little better. It was interesting, the impact the apple had on him.

The student’s generosity set Mr. Swick to smiling about all he had had to do to be here, at this desk, on this day. He held up the apple in the palm of his hand, admiring its shiny perfection and began to reflect on the last few years of his life. The years had been demanding but rewarding …

He had wanted to leave his mark on the world and had gone to college to encourage the goal. Kenton Swick went into teaching because the idea of helping to educate tomorrow’s leaders greatly appealed to him. He had chosen Art Education as a course of study because art was his first love … he day-dreamed about himself contributing to the rise of a modern day Picasso or a new Rembrandt!

He recalled his anxious student-teaching experiences and how the patient students had been so cooperative and understanding about his inexperience. What an adventure it had been! The quest had begun with high school and ended with a bachelor’s degree in education, a master’s degree in fine arts, and a hard-earned teaching license.

Thinking about the actions that brought him to this apple in his hand, he understood that it was a testament to his success in the classroom. The one gesture boosted his confidence in his ability to inspire students and also heightened his belief in the goodness of young people.

Mr. Swick sat the apple on the desk and turned to his lesson planning … he was giving an art history quiz next period and needed to revise a couple of the questions. Life was good … teaching was good.

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