Learning from ‘Thank a Teacher Day’

“Thank a Teacher Day” on May 3 was our first Kump Education Center First Friday, but a torrential rain almost stole the show. Jo Rockwell was delivering her spicy spaghetti sauce in pouring rain when she noticed water gushing from a broken downspout outside the den window at the newly renovated Kump house. The water was leaking in fast.

In March Jo and I had cleaned out plaster dust, painted the walls, and washed the curtains for that room, and we were not about to let water destroy all our hard work. We were able to deflect the gusher away from the window and sop up all the water that had seeped into the den.

It was a time for me to recognize that Jo Rockwell is the person who has taught me the most about recognizing when you are in trouble and making things work under difficult circumstances.

By five o’clock the spaghetti was hot and the den was dry. Sue Core was the first guest, and she liked that spaghetti sauce but pointed out little mistakes on the printed information for the self-guided tour of the first floor of historic Kump House. Sue is another person who served as a teacher for me. Sue was a great help in the early process of organizing the Kump Education Center as a new nonprofit.

Young families visited between the intermittent spells of hard rain, and the kids wrote thank-you notes to their teachers. Aida thanked Mrs. Cross at North Elementary School for teaching her multiplication tables and doing class activities. Annalee thanked Ms. Bosserman at Third Ward Elementary for helping her with reading. Silas and Lucas thanked Ms. Pam and Ms. Emily at Montessori Early Learning Center for doing projects with them, playing games and being “kind of a friend.”

The children also played with the new “Math 4 Life” geometry games from Randolph County Schools. They used circles, triangles, squares, pentagons, hexagons, rectangles and trapezoids to shape birds, worms, houses and other recognizable objects.

Local educators were also invited to the event.

We were happy that the Harman School Teacher of the Year, Natalie Josimovich, and her mother made the trip through hard rain. We were also glad to see Elkins Middle School counselor Jill Zurbuch because we know that students in local schools today are faced with new challenges caused by the current opioid crisis.

We also had a special thank you to Rev. Jerimiah Jasper for his spiritual and mental leadership at Woodford Memorial Church. Rev. Jasper understands why Christ was known as a teacher.