A Very Special Teacher
Some teachers make you feel special, and Ruth Wynn Sadler was the teacher who made me feel like I was smart and could accomplish anything during formative years when I never dreamed that college was a possibility for me.
Later, when one of my students compared my smile to the moon and the stars, those words reminded me Mrs. Sadler’s warm, welcoming smile that greeted students in a manner that motivated us to learn what she was teaching that day in home economics.
She was great about ignoring classroom pranks although the twinkle in her eyes revealed how much she seemed to enjoy a few mischievous pranks as much as any student. I never remember her raising her voice or dismissing anyone from class during the three years I took a variety of the classes she taught.
However, I most remember what Mrs. Sadler did for me during my senior year after I was elected president of the home economics club when I informed her that I would be unable to make the scheduled home economics field trip to the state fair in Little Rock, Arkansas.
I was too embarrassed to tell her my family was experiencing economic challenges. Yet, when I told her that I could not attend the function, she said she would pick me up at my home the Saturday morning of the trip. Later that week, it began to rain excessively in our rural town. In fact, it rained so much that a number of bridges not too far from my home became impassable and were closed.
So, Mrs. Sadler and her husband had to drive at least an hour of unplanned detours through less traveled, graveled backwoods to reach my home. Then, we traveled back to the school bus destination where the other students waited for her and me to arrive before boarding the bus to travel many hours to get to the fair.
I experienced a wonderful day at the fair mingling with my peers because of Mrs. Sadler’s generosity.
That evening, she and her husband retraced the detour to take me back home.
As a teacher, I realized the sacrifice Mrs. Sadler made for me to attend the fair as I sought empower the lives of my students, and during our last two phone conversations, she shared how she was enduring the infirmities of aging. Yet, her conversation was as cheerful, positive, and complimentary of me as what I remembered in high school.
Although Mrs. Sadler passed away last year, her kindness lives forever in my heart.
Mrs. Ruth Wynn Sadler is being recognized as an Unsung Hero by Dr. Sherrill Rayford.
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