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January 27, 2021 5:00 am
(Original Air Date: Sept. 6, 1988)
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Find fun for your kids. Just a click away seeing the adventures in Odyssey club. Your 8 to 12-year-old can find trusted faith building entertainment in a safe online club features almost every episode ever plus special monthly club only episodes and content and of Focus on the Family clubhouse magazine subscription. Sign up today. Just go to a I/O club.org/radio. I had a fire teacher just finished 20 years as a drill instructor in the Marine was his first year in education and he was my seventh grade fire teacher, and he came in the class on guide on Focus on the Family with euros book as president and author Jim John here Focus on the Family we sure encouragement and that's the purpose of her brother. Just think, you can feel it were featuring one of our most popular messages of all time and it's from teacher of the year guide who we just heard impersonating a Marine in that claim that I can relate because when I had the kind of PE teacher in junior high.
Our goal is to remind adults whether you're a teacher or an involved parent to always be on the lookout for students are being marginalized at their school and that may be harder if your child is attending classes online right now, but this will be a good reminder to reach out to any child or teen who needs a friend at Guy Dowd was a high school language arts teacher for many years in Brainerd, Minnesota.
He was named teacher of the year in 1986 became a very popular speaker and partnered with Focus on the Family to produce a DVD of his story called molder of during this presentation is a favorite in our home. I given it to my oldest son is a teacher himself, and you can get a copy of this DVD when you call 880 family or visit the episode notes and the link is there here now is Guy Dowd speaking to a group of youth leaders on today's episode of Focus on the Family. I want to talk about what we do because we do something very similar. I teach in a high school I work with kids you work with kids and so it's a great honor for me to be here in and have a chance to share with you this morning. I appreciate tips brief, short and reduction. Sometimes when I go somewhere to speak, they feel like they need to go on and on and on about how I was chosen national teacher of the year ceremony at the White House and all of that out. I always get up and say I really don't have any claim to fame after I was chosen national teacher of the year 1986, 87, a reporter from the USA Today gentleman by the name of Steve Marshall and he said what is it feel like to chosen teacher in America. While I thought about that.
A second my head began to swell. Now all of a sudden I said Mr. Marshall. You have to stop right there in no way does being chosen teacher of the year mean on the best teacher anywhere. Certainly not in America with 2 1/2 million teachers, not Minnesota, Brainerd, Minnesota where I teach only the best teacher in my classroom. Sometimes I'm not so sure. Being chosen teacher.
You mean you're the best teacher anywhere. It simply somebody to speak on behalf of all teachers and that's been a great honor for me so I don't really have any claim to fame. If I have any claim to fame at all and I always have to tell this because everybody likes to hear about it. It's the fact that I used the way, 327 pounds that especially with the I think the chance I've had to spread the good news about the Lord Jesus Christ is the most important thing in my life I talked about the importance of that the teachers played in my life because they did. It was a teacher who led me to the Lord Jesus Christ. A public school teacher and we talked about mission fields. The public schools in America are great mission fields we don't need any kind of antagonistic relationships between the schools in the church, because truthfully the public schools in America today are where most kids are going to end up going in the public school is only to be as good as the people that are in it.
The people that influence it in the people that work with it.
That's the public school in America today that is being asked to do everything from teach pulmonary coronary resuscitation to prevent exposure to AIDS to inculcate ethics and morals and values were mandated to do this by state legislatures and so the public school of America today is a great great mission field and as a teacher and as a Christian I see these kids and my heart bleeds I teach mostly college-bound preparatory students. Advanced placement classes. These kids are going to come. They want good ACT or SAT scores. They want tremendous grades nothing but straight A's.
They want big scholarships, they feel the pressure to succeed.
They know that education means their ticket to success. I have no trouble at all. Motivating those student none whatsoever.
They keep me motivated. All I have to do is coming to class and use my most basic motivational technique, one that one of my Chinese professors in college used came in the class the first day and he looked at us and said sometimes we flunk whole class then I'm always given a class or two of fundamentals of composition. The detested basic grammar and writing class sophomores the most hated class in the school keeps me humble. Most kids love to take notes to draw marijuana leaves on the notebooks. Billy Idol is my in my classes I was letting the kids sit wherever they want to sit as long as they don't create any problems and you know what the secondary class to pick a seat and they never move again and then I put my seating chart together and they think that while Mr. Donald class we get to sit wherever we want to sit but I learned a lot about them from where they choose to sit what peer group they choose to fight with who they see themselves relating to yet you know you got your phone type girls rush out. Get the latest addition. Better throw out the wardrobe if it's no longer current.cool jocks.
You know where I come from rural Minnesota got the farmers from the class FFA jackets FFA have some cool cans in the back pocket.
They've driven the last in their pickup trucks with the gun rack in the back listening to Hank Williams Junior music you know all different types. Then there are people like Sean doesn't fit in anywhere. He always sits by himself. He never talks to anybody else in the class never relates when I call on him to read in class. He gets) when I have over buyers desk.
See always doing on his work just field wall, the tension, here he is coming down the hall.
It's Friday. Last hour of the day. The party animals just entered the room, here comes John I'm on hall duty hi Sean, I I am done okay hey what you do this weekend, stopped and looked me right in the eye's design to see my mom would don't get to see her mom very often. No, I haven't seen her nine years.
She deserted us when he walks on by and all of a sudden the lesson I have planned on split infinitives seems just a little less significant, and I think that my first year as a teacher I was done academically. Those kids will learn everything I just learned in college, I found out some of them didn't care about focal usual nap with Dr. Tony John Steinbeck's regionalism and I was teaching contemporary, short story, class I gave journal assignments every day.
The kids had to write and write that right and I collected when I read what they'd written they were supposed to react to the short stories rewritten and all they didn't understand the stories at all, but there was this one girl in particular, she was all she wrote anything, just a sentence. I tried talking to her, but the walls came up. I sent the referrals hold your camera parents would give her a good kick in the pants that just made the communication all that much more difficult and finally at the end of six weeks mid trimester time. I said today I'm in a let you write about whatever you want to write about. Why don't you write about something you think that I should know about you. The only requirement is that you write all our I'm not integrated these but you have to do them. If you want to get a mid trimester grade you have to write all our so I was really behind in correcting my papers and I collected those journals at night and I went out to eat at thought the tone had 1/4 spaghetti half chicken went to the football game when open the football game in a big bowl of butter brittle ice cream sat down and started to read journals and I came to this girls all of a sudden were page after page only handle sentence here in a sentence. There page after page was filled. She started in Jesus Mr. Donald I know you don't like me because I'm down but I'm not as dumb as you think I am. You see last summer I had an abortion and she went on to tell me the whole tale how she got pregnant. How she wanted to get married. Our parents wouldn't allow her she wasn't old enough how they she was forced into this abortion situation, so to speak.
How she ran away from home. Our parents would let her see her boyfriend how her boyfriend moved out to the West Coast and then she starts writing. She's as if I can't be with my boyfriend. I just assume be dead. She started listing all these means and methods.
She considered using for take your own life. I'm sitting there on Friday night my ice cream is melting and I'm reading this journal. I think my word for six weeks this girls been sitting 3 feet away from me and I've been more interested in Flannery O'Connor Southern Gothic style in trying to shove it down her throat, and I really ever have been about her and reconfirm something for me that there's something even more important than reading and writing and arithmetic. Something even more important than computer literacy. I teach human beings and as a Christian I have a responsibility.
I remember back to my college days on one day during final exams. I was down I'd been up for nights on end felt the pressure to get good grades and I took often what I did when I felt that way as I would eat.
I went downtown Fargo North Dakota sat in a restaurant right on Main Street and OI were the biggest breakfast, you could find and I started to eat.
As I was eating along came these two people that had to be the grossest looking people I'd ever seen in my whole life. They must've been let out of the day center. Something just formed faces and they came into the restaurant and ended up sitting right next to me. They were turning me off and I understand looking at them.
I know it's a terrible way to feel what I felt that way I can deny it. Not long after along the street came this mother with her little daughter beautiful blonde haired little girl and they came into the restaurant and this deformed looking lady with this huge cauliflower ear growths on her face. She said in the old lady's career career. Give me a kiss.
I wanted to jump on my seat. I wanted to say how you and the little girl looked up at her mommy and her mommy smiled at her and the little girl went over to this lady and she put her hands right on her face.
She leaned up to her and kissed her.
Then she backed up and she said Jesus loves you, and I went back to my dorm room and my roommate at a poster on the wall. The sole drunken bomb in the gutter's flask empty passed out drunk in the bomb the posterior red you love Jesus Christ only as much as the person you love the least follow it so easy to love the beautiful people the popular people the good-looking people so you know what I do as a teacher I go to school early in the morning. Here's a desk. Here's where Sean sits sitdown in Sean's desk and I pray for Sean sitting in his desk, and when Sean comes walking down the hall. I can never think of him again in the same way I'm sitting in school. After the bell is wrong. It's about 515. Anxious to get home and go out the taco town have some spaghetti and chicken get to the football game. I looked up in my door and there's Chris number 85. My first year as a teacher here stands number 85 with his football jersey on hey Chris what are you still doing here. I had picked up some books and then I thought I get dressed early for the game. I said blessed pretty early sissy I like to be the first one is a big game tonight since Yahweh played flyers have good of Edom's hour to kill. I said good and he kinda stood there and shifted his weight back and forth from foot to foot decision on tonight is stepparents night's at half time. They have all the senior football players on the field and the invite to parents come down on the field stand behind them. Why, I don't know if you know this or not but my folks are divorced. My dad lives in California and my mom while she's a she's out of town and the coach said that if I our parents couldn't be with us that we should ask somebody that will some buddy that while we respond back to. I was going ask you sooner but hey, if you can't be at the game. That's okay said no.
Are you asking me to stand up with you would at half time severe not be at the game.
That's okay so I'm to be at the game. I said I'd be very, very proud to stand up with any sat down on the edge of the desk.
As you know, I haven't gotten into the game yet this year.
I said all I so what was it a couple weeks ago they introduced recently I was scouting. Later the week I so yeah what is that mean anyhow as well.
We run the oppositions offense and our defense beats up on its eyes so I'm sure you'll get into the game tonight and I went to that game set up their stands cheered watching number 85.
Last game of the year so we dressed the sophomore team as well because there can be varsity next year Watching number 85, who was chairman Patton people on the butt as they came back in from the field, but as of yet, hadn't gotten the game half time expired. I went out was introduced and stood behind number 85, and I remember as I stood there I pray that, should I ever have children someday was hope.
Just pray today never have to have substitute parents and the third quarter started we had about a 17 point lead number 85 still hadn't gotten into the game. We were still playing are good players. Our best players are starting players on both defense, offense, defense, offense, defense office they were going both ways. So maybe you guys dressed for the football game. We had about 14 or 15 who were playing now.
He I'm not questioning anybody's coaching decisions, but by the fourth quarter. I was standing up, and as the clock one rundown we won by 20 points number 85 had made it in game I might as well been his parent. As I sat there, there is an on Monday I did know wasn't say to Chris and Harry modern hall duty. Here he comes, is what you guys sure weapon.
She says you know I didn't think I was that bad.
If you put me in the game with two minutes left that I would've blown a 20 point lead, but he had missed a practice he spend more time in the weight room else made the decision.
He wasn't good enough for the real game was a lesson.
The data stated this kid you know kids face that all the time in school.
Whether it's private or public, in all their lessons. But sometimes there are the lessons that make or break a kid. All we need to be sensitive to those lessons the heart of Guy Dowd. She shares today. Pushpa was right there for today's episode of Focus on the Family but will hear more from Guy next time John and I can really relate to that football player Chris number 85 who didn't have anyone to be there on parents night. I played four years of high school football and back then dad's night was always a sad time for me because I was one of the few guys on our team who didn't have a dad and I'd have to stand out there on the field alone and man.
It still hurts my heart even all these years later, thinking about it I can just picture that Jim and there are so many kids today who are in that situation much more. I think then when you and I were growing yet more kids are facing that is so true John that we have so many families going through divorce and kids growing up without a debtor without a mom without both parents like I did. And even if there hasn't been a major trauma in your family the teen years are traumatic in and of themselves, and I would encourage you today to really hug your child. Tell them you love them and you're proud of them and even if they roll their eyes or shrug it off, remember this, it makes a difference in their heart and if you work with kids look for that isolated child and reach out to them. They may pull back because they don't know how to handle positive attention. I remember feeling that way when a teacher or coach would put their arm around me.
I think okay what they want, and yet I'd encourage you to press through that awkwardness and let that child know you care. It'll make a world of difference in their life whether they express it or not, and is Guy Dowd mentioned a lot of these children are actually suicidal, but they're not going to just come out and tell you that Focus on the Family is committed to addressing the tragedy of teen suicide and we developed a free collection of resources called alive to thrive, which is designed to help adults proactively address issues that can lead to suicide and we want to get this information out to as many parents, teachers and youth leaders as we can and you can help us do that. It's absolutely free for that purpose, and I'd like to give a big shout out to our donors who help fund this project, we could have done it without you. The alive to thrive. Curriculum is just one example of how Focus on the Family is here to help your family and the families around you and if you can help us, we'd really love to hear from you today. The best way to help is to become a monthly donor. It doesn't have to be a large amount. It's the consistency that really helps us in our planning month-to-month. And when you make a monthly pledge of any amount I'd like to send you the DVD of Guy Dowd's complete story called molder of dreams that has over 90 minutes of content and I know it will touch your heart and if monthly giving is not going to work for your budget.
Right now we understand that will send a DVD to you for a one-time gift of any amount you get the DVD when you call 800 a family that's 800-232-6459 or follow the link in the episode notes to donate to the work of Focus on the Family and request your DVD and be sure when you're online with us to look for that link to our alive to thrive. Suicide prevention resources that we mentioned earlier, if you enjoyed today's program. Please tell a friend to tune in next time is Guy shares memories of his favorite teachers, including one who trusted a rather chubby young guy to catch a pass playing football. And here comes Mr. Baldwin, my I didn't get very far with it after I caught it just lucky for those other kids touch football Jim Daly tired Focus on the Family podcast take a moment please. And sure about this episode with give us a rating at Apple podcast or wherever you get your admin plan to join us next time. Is once again and your family thrive in Christ. Good parents aren't perfect and that's okay but there are ways you can grow every day. Focus on the Family seven traits of effective parenting assessment gives parents an honest look at their unique strings plus some areas that could use a little help entering mom and dad can help raise the next generation of healthy children and responsible children in this assessment will help get you started. Take the assessment of focusonthefamily.com/7 traits that's focusonthefamily.com/7 traits