Write Again … Such were the ties that bind

Published 8:14 pm Monday, June 18, 2012

For eight years, I believe it was, I taught physical education to youngsters being home-schooled.

One half-day a week, during a regular school year, we would meet at what is now the Bobby Andrews Recreation Center on 7th Street.

Each of three classes — grouped by ages — would have a one-hour session. In total, we would average between 45-50 students per semester. That was, in effect, a half day per week that I was committed to this.

Did I enjoy this? Absolutely.

Were they good children to teach? Absolutely.

Truth to tell, they were wonderful. Well-behaved, enthusiastic, cooperative. I could go on. I felt really close to these children, and there were some I was with during much of their growing up years.

After a couple of years I felt I needed a better title than just “teacher.”

So, in my always modest manner I appointed myself Dean of Physical Education, Leisure Activities, Philosophy & Humor for TEACH University. (TEACH stood for The Eastern Association  of Christian Homeschools.)

Most of these kids lived here in Beaufort County, but a handful from time to time came from Hyde and Martin counties.

These students, many of them, went on to college and did quite well. Whenever I see any of them now it makes me feel really good. I guess I was sort of their surrogate grandfather. I really cared for and about them. It seemed to be mutual.

The unifying, common thread that bound these young people together, I believe, was their firm family ties and values. That is so very important. Would that all children were so blessed.

A serendipity of this experience was getting to know the children’s parents. Well, mostly mothers, who did the bulk of the actual home-schooling.

I often wondered how these mothers managed to get it all done, cover all the education bases, and make it look almost easy.

Being a part, albeit just a small part, of the process was truly a blessing to me.

For that I am grateful.