Why a Teacher Removed all of the Desks in Her Classroom

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Stuart & Watts Real Estate WV0026375

school deskBack in September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a social studies school teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock, did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks out of her classroom.
 
When the first period kids entered the room they discovered that there were no desks.
 
'Ms. Cothren, where're our desks?'
 
She replied, 'You can't have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk.'
 
They thought, 'Well, maybe it's our grades.'
 
'No,' she said.
 
'Maybe it's our behavior.'
 
She told them, 'No, it's not even your behavior.'
 
And so, they came and went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom.
 
By early afternoon television news crews had started gathering in Ms.Cothren's classroom to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her room.
 
The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the deskless classroom, Martha Cothren said, 'Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he/she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you.'
 
At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it.
 
Twenty-seven (27) U.S. Veterans, all in uniforms, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand alongside the  wall. By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned..
 
Martha said, 'You didn't earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. Now, it's up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don't ever forget it.'
 
By the way, this is a true story.

REMEMBER  the freedoms we have in this great country were earned by U. S. Veterans.

__________________________________________________________________


Rebecca Gaujot, REALTOR® | 304-520-2133
Coldwell Banker | Stuart & Watts Real Estate
Thinking of buying or selling a house, call me...Your WV Real Estate Connection for Lewisburg, WV/Greenbrier County.

LewisburgWV and GreenbrierCounty RealEstate
Your Connection to West Virginia Mountain Splendor

 

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    Rebecca Gaujot  

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Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Steve Hoffacker 12/05/2009 01:49 PM
  2. Gerry Michaels 12/06/2009 12:43 PM
  3. Joyce Kelley 12/08/2009 09:11 PM
  4. David Zablatsky 02/13/2010 12:19 AM
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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
1,267,138
Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker/Owner
BuyersAgentPortland.com | (503) 810-7192 Portland Metro Exclusive Buyers Agent | 100% Buyer Representation ~ 100% o... - Portland, OR
Buyer Focused ~ Buyer Results

Rebecca . . . this is a GREAT blog.  Thank you.  I've traveled to several countries in Africa and Asia where EDUCATION -- PUBLIC EDUCATION -- DOES NOT EXIST!!  The things we (as Americans) can take for granted is amazing. 

YES . . . we have a FREE society, and it COST US dearly!! 

December 04, 2009 09:13 PM #1
Rainmaker
439,453
David Zablatsky
Key Advantage Realty - Needham, MA
Real Estate - Needham, MA

Wow, Rebecca

 

great blog, amazing story, thank you for sharing it.

 

-David

December 04, 2009 09:18 PM #2
Rainmaker
103,974
Jamie Parker Gwinnett
Keller Williams - Snellville, GA
Realtor, Snellville Homes

Thank you so much for your great blog.  We take for granted what we have and don't often think about what it really cost.

December 04, 2009 09:19 PM #3
Rainmaker
447,075
Paul F. Stillwaggon
NJ Estates Real Estate Group - Warren, NJ
NJ Estates Real Estate Group, Weichert Realtors

That was a wow, great blog.

December 04, 2009 09:25 PM #4
Ambassador
1,938,262
Steve Hoffacker
Hoffacker Associates LLC - West Palm Beach, FL
New Home Sales Trainer/Coach, Sales Books Author

Rebecca,

I have seen this before but it is great to see it again. The flip side to this is that many of the teachers that occupy classrooms everyday don't understand this concept - that theire freedom to teach also was purchased. :)

Steve

December 04, 2009 09:45 PM #5
Ambassador
1,938,262
Steve Hoffacker
Hoffacker Associates LLC - West Palm Beach, FL
New Home Sales Trainer/Coach, Sales Books Author

Rebecca,

I was going to reblog this but you didn't allow that. Great post that many more people should see. :)

Steve

December 04, 2009 09:46 PM #6
Rainmaker
281,929
Carra Riley
Author, Speaker, Consultant, Carra Riley Inc. - Williams, AZ
CRB, CRS, GRI

Rebecca,

What a wonderful reminder...everyday, I think we should express gratitude for many things and freedom and our armed forces are included in my list.

"REMEMBER  the freedoms we have in this great country were earned by U. S. Veterans." 
 

December 04, 2009 10:31 PM #7
Rainmaker
1,393,762
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Coldwell Banker Stuart & Watts Real Estate - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV Real Estate, Greenbrier County

Thanks to everyone for visiting .... I have changed from "Members Only" to "Public" as some have wanted to reblog.

December 05, 2009 08:24 AM #9
Rainer
156,491
Tom Boos
Sine & Monaghan Realtors, Real Living - Grosse Pointe Farms, MI

Wow. .. I guess kids CAN learn some valuable lessons in schools today.  Right-thinking teachers make all the difference in the world.  Thanks for relating this inspirational story.

December 05, 2009 11:27 AM #10
Ambassador
536,756
Gerry Michaels
Glasswork Media Arts - Gettysburg, PA
GettysburgGerry Social Meida

That is powerfull, I love this story, I hadn't heard it before, thanks for sharing I will be sharing as well

December 05, 2009 12:41 PM #11
Rainmaker
895,352
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker

Rebecca,

This is a great lesson, and the kids will remember it forever.

I'm glad someone did this. It would be a nice item to include in a movie so that it would be widely seen, and hopefully copied.

Brian

December 05, 2009 12:50 PM #12
Ambassador
499,975
Donna Bigda
RE/MAX Alliance - Branford, CT
Greater New Haven CT Real Estate

Rebecca - This is just awesome.  I came across Steve Hoffacker's reblog of this and had to come over and comment directly on your post.  There should be more teachers like Martha Cothren who inspire their students with what the true cost of freedom is and to be forever grateful for those who made it possible.

December 05, 2009 04:12 PM #13
Rainmaker
1,393,762
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Coldwell Banker Stuart & Watts Real Estate - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV Real Estate, Greenbrier County

Everyone.....thank you for stopping by to read this inspirational story.  As Brian stated, a great lesson and the kids will remember it forever.

December 05, 2009 05:15 PM #14
Rainer
110,832
Charles Perkins
Charles G. Perkins, CPA - Burien, WA

Thanks for sharing this story.  This teacher has made a strong impression on these kids that most of them probably will never forget.  It's wonderful to hear about great teachers that have the courage teach real lessons and find creative ways to help these lessons sink in.

December 06, 2009 01:17 AM #15
Rainmaker
898,025
Joyce Kelley
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc - Gulf Breeze, FL
Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl.

THanks so much Rebecca for sharing this post lest we forget that fredom is not free. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

December 25, 2009 12:39 PM #16
Rainer
372,835
Gary Swanson
RE/MAX Ideal Brokers, Inc. - Grants Pass, OR

Hi Rebecca, thanks for sharing this story.  We should never forget that freedom isn't free.

February 13, 2010 12:25 AM #17
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Rainmaker
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Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®

Lewisburg WV Real Estate, Greenbrier County
Your Connection to West Virginia Mountain Splendor
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