With another school year in the books, now is a good time to pay tribute to all the hardworking teachers out there who put so much time and energy into one of the most important jobs out there, educating children.

One of our readers, Ruthie Schultz, sent us an email saying how lucky we are here in Douglas County to have individuals who have decided to dedicate their lives to teaching and school boards and parents who have made teachers and their classrooms a priority.

Especially during a pandemic.

As a way of thanking all of the local educators, Schultz put together a version of Paul Harvey’s God Made a Farmer, only putting teachers in the spotlight. She gave special thanks to K. Griffin, Amy Breitmann, and Steve Bruce for their adaptations. Here’s Schultz's version:

God knew that the hearts of children would need to be held and mended. So God made a teacher.

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And on the ninth day, God looked down at Paradise and caretakers and said, “To have a just world, we need to be educated.”

So God made a teacher.

God said, “I need somebody dedicated to planning before dawn, loving without limits, spending all day at boards and computers, grading after regular school hours, eating dinner quickly and then often working past midnight. And I need those same folks at the school volleyball and soccer games, in the seats at the choir concerts and theatrical productions, watching gymnastics or wrestling and bumping in to these same students at the grocery store with a kind word and smile.”

So God made a teacher.

“I need somebody with arms strong enough to hold the egos of seventh graders and yet gentle enough to wipe the tears of a sobbing high schooler. It has to be somebody who will encourage, advocate and challenge. Someone who stands in the halls or the cafeteria or the playground and notices all the things kids of all sizes try to hide. I need someone to be the only hug that a child of mine receives or to high-five that ninth grade boy who thinks he doesn’t need a hug. Someone who says,’ Come back to visit us.’ And mean it.”

So God made a teacher.

“I need someone who can scoop goldfish into a toddler’s hands or shape an insecure boy with no father figure into someone self-confident enough to tackle college. Someone who from July’s pre-planning for the next school year to the last day of school in June will have finished a full year’s work in nine months. Then, during what parents refer to as summer vacation, put in more hours planning, purchasing and preparing for the next year’s students. Someone willing to ride the busses on field trips or buy pencils and scissors and poster board for those who couldn’t afford them or whose parents simply forgot. Someone empathetic enough to stop and turn and move towards that child whose hurting facial expression needs attention.

"I need someone who will make them fall in love with reading and science and math and history…someone who will seed, weed, feed and rake their self-esteem. Someone who will weave a class of misfits together with expectations, discipline and laughter. Someone who will be a positive role model, be entertaining, creative, innovative and inspirational. Someone willing to offer extra help, sponsor a club…someone who understands that education is for bettering lives, not just test scores.”

So God made a teacher.

“Somebody willing to have a sense of humor about eternally changing curriculums, meeting upon meeting, crazy helicopter parents…somebody whose only special interest is the children sitting in the classroom. Somebody to help students deal with divorce, unemployment, homelessness, hunger, loneliness, addiction, depression, anxiety, disability, bullies, disruptive behavior and still manage to teach, challenge, motivate and inspire…Someone who does the work of four regular people: cop, social worker, nurse, and educator. Someone who can come up with four different plans for the same lesson so as to reach every student in the classroom, and a backup plan for that….someone who can fly by the seat of his or her pants when necessary at a moment’s notice and do it with grace.”

So God made a teacher.

“Someone who will eat lunch in four bites, help a colleague, take some insulting comments from parents and students and come back to work the next day. Someone who will consistently give 110 percent for far less that 100 percent of what their value is. And yet will summon the rare courage and natural bravery to stop a bullet if need be with themselves a bullet meant for a child not their own.”

So God made a teacher.