This One's For the Teachers
Ask anyone the question, who taught you how to do that thing you love to do? The answer will often be something like, "There was this one teacher who really believed in me and didn’t give up on me." Today, Salvation South editor Chuck Reece wants to celebrate every school teacher listening, who never give up on their students.
MUSIC: Laid Back Country Picker and Honey – “Go West”
Chuck Reece: That’s a little bit of a song by a husband-and-wife duo from Kentucky known as the Laid Back Country Picker and Honey. Yes, this is Chuck Reece from Salvation South, and no, I am not playing deejay today.
I play you that little taste of music for a reason. Most folks who record their own music on the side do so because they’re not real happy with their day jobs. They’d rather make music for a living.
That is not the case with the Laid Back Country Picker and Honey. Their real names are David and Teresa Prince, and they love their day jobs. To the bottom of their hearts. They wouldn’t trade their day jobs for anything—not even a recording contract.
What do they do? They are public school teachers in a little town called Louisa.
Perhaps you are thinking to yourself, what? Public school teachers who love their jobs? I know, I know…the stories are hard to avoid these days. Our public schools face teacher shortages. People are leaving the profession, frustrated by low pay, lack of student discipline, increasing pressure from parents, or any of a host of other factors.
But for the last ten years or so, I’ve had the privilege to edit the writing of a couple of Southern education professors — Dr. Adam Jordan at the College of Charleston and Dr. Todd Hawley, who these days is all the way up in Ohio at Kent State. They have written for me frequently about the importance of public school teachers.
And it was Adam and Todd who turned me on to the Princes of Louisa, Kentucky. They’d heard about a couple of wacky teachers who did the twangy boogie for live audiences and wanted to learn more. And when they finally talked to the Princes, they found folks who love what they do. People who feel genuine joy when a student finally understands the knowledge they are trying to get across.
I’ve never taught in a classroom, but I know from decades of editing younger writers what it feels like to see someone twist and turn for weeks as they try to figure out the right way to tell a complex story and then, finally, get it absolutely and joyously right.
Adam and Todd make it their business to find schoolteachers like that and tell their stories—thus letting the rest of us know that despite what we hear, our schools still have teachers who live for that moment when a student’s eyes get big and they say, “Okay, now I get it.”
I just want to say this. I know what it’s like to lear n from teachers like that. If you’re a teacher who loves those moments, we salute you, with all our hearts. We think you’re the best. We think you are genuinely a hero.
Have a great weekend. You deserve it. And come see us at SalvationSouth.com.
Salvation South editor Chuck Reece comments on Southern culture and values in a weekly segment that airs Fridays at 7:45 a.m. during Morning Edition and 4:44 p.m. during All Things Considered on GPB Radio. You can also find them here at GPB.org/Salvation-South, and please download and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform as well.