I drove to Amarillo, Texas by myself on sunny warm day to visit my daughter and son-in-law (SIL) in Amarillo. They have such rich lives and I find such pleasure in sharing experiences with them. My SIL is a communications/journalism teacher in the town’s most underprivileged high school. In other words, the most at-risk high school. Most of the students come from impoverished homes and many live in bad situations. The school has a reputation for being pretty rough.
My SIL is the kind of teacher every student there should know. He teaches them more than just communication and journalism. He teaches them about practical financial matters. When a person who never has money earns a little cash, he/she has no idea what to do with it. He introduces them to the concept of budgeting and saving for a better future. He teaches them how to work together on projects successfully (his students have won awards for their videos). He provides them with a strong male role model. He basically takes many of his students under his wing to teach them about a better way of life.
In the course of his teaching at this at-risk high school, he’s found many good people. Kids with ambition who want better things for themselves than where they are coming from. Kids who know there’s a better way to live and are willing to work toward it. Good-hearted kids in a place where people in general think there are none.
After arriving at my daughter’s home, I enjoyed being a part of a special exercise my daughter goes through each year. She took several of girls who had been students of my SIL on a shopping trip to the store to price food items. They compare price differences between name brands, store brands, prepared foods, and recipe ingredients for making the same foods. A useful exercise. The girls came to breakfast and helped prepare biscuits and gravy. We all sat down to an enjoyable breakfast and good conversation. These girls were very impressive, all with college ambitions and dreams.
I’ve met quite a few of SIL’s good-hearted students. He and my daughter counsel many of his students in life’s matters, school matters, financial matters, relationship matters, and all those other things that parents should teach their children. In a sense, my daughter and SIL have provided me with a host of pseudo-grandkids. I’m grateful for each of them.
My daughter and SIL quietly change the lives of kids needing someone to help and guide them. I admire them so much. I should be more like them.
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