Martha Cothren taught her students a lesson they’ll never forget when the teacher removed all desks from the classroom. And it’s a powerful reminder we all need to hear!
Exceptional teachers know that just reading facts from a textbook isn’t enough to get through to a group of high school kids. Martha Cothren is one of those exceptional teachers.
Can you imagine walking into a classroom with absolutely no desks? That’s exactly what happened to students of Robinson High School in Little Rock on their first day of class in Martha Cothren’s History class.
“Ms. Cothren, where are our desks?” the confused kids asked.
“You can’t have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk,” Marth replied.
Puzzled, the students started making guesses at how they could “earn” a desk. Good grades? Good behavior?
Martha explained that while grades and behavior were important, none of that earned them a seat. Students came and went, sitting on the floor while trying to figure out what their teacher was waiting to hear from them. Some kids even started calling their parents and by the afternoon, all of the local news stations had shown up at the school to report on how the “crazy” teacher removed all desks from her class.
It wasn’t until the final period when Martha Cothren revealed the lesson behind this clever stunt.
Arkansas Teacher’s Lesson Using Desks
“Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he or she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom,” Martha said. “Now I am going to tell you.”
Martha opened the door and twenty-seven U.S. Armed Services Veterans, all in uniform, filed into the classroom. Each veteran carried a school desk.
“You didn’t earn the right to sit at these desks,” Martha said. “These heroes did it for you.”
Martha went on to explain how the brave men and women before her class traveled all around the world, sacrificing their own education and time with family so they could enjoy the daily freedoms often taken for granted.
“They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don’t ever forget it,” Martha said.
Many times when stories like this circulate, they are either highly embellished or entirely fake. But that’s not the case here. This viral modern-day parable telling how a teacher removed all desks to teach her students about freedom is a true story.