“You know somethin’? When I was in school back in “the day”; I knew there was something special about our teachers. I just didn’t know what it was exactly.

Oh, I can remember many of the things they taught me – or tried too – and I can’t remember what I did yesterday; but, I just knew they were a special ”breed of cat”.

I have regaled you many times with adventures and misadventures of Tommy’s school daze; but when I read that article about the honors being shown one of my teachers, I just had to regale you again!

Mrs. Asa Wilson (Miss Maxie) was a Latin teacher among other courses (which I did not take); and I really liked her. She was a gentle soul who knew her stuff; and had a passion for me knowing her stuff too. Latin was a “dead language”; and I didn’t really appreciate it until many years later when I was struggling in my Greek classes in Seminary.

It was amazing! Some of those little tidbits she drilled into our mindless minds came back and helped me as I tried to learn another “ferrign” language. I had a wee bit of a problem getting interested in Julius Caesar’s exploits in the Latin lessons; but, hey; how was I supposed to know those same basic principles would come back into my curriculum – this time with The Lord Jesus Christ’s exploits?

I liked Mrs. Wilson because of who she was; as well as for what she was. My mom had always told me that teachers are to be respected; and now that many of my family members have gone in that career path as well; it makes all the much more sense!

But, you know, until I read her exploits of getting started on that path, I never knew why she was so special to me. We used to walk down Morrell Springs Road (“the last road in the city that was paved”, she used to remind us) and see her beautiful home. She would always speak to us as we walked by!

She started teaching right out of high school! I think that is amazing; and started out at Waterville. The article said she had to walk three miles; then ride the little train for fifteen miles; and then paddle across the Pigeon River to get to work – then, I suppose do it all in reverse to get back home! Every day!

Then put up with kids who would rather be out throwing rocks or snowballs or spitballs at each other for most of the day. Then do it all over again and again and again and again! Man!

I know that scenario is repeated many times by all the teachers back in that day; and newer and different scenarios by teachers in this day. I have heard them talk; but since I have approached my own geezerdom with fear and trepidation, it just seems to mean more to me now than then.

She worked and saved a little here and there and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Carson-Newman; worked and saved a little more and graduated from UT and was the only Cocke County teacher to have such an advanced degree for “many years”.

I always knew she was something special!

I am always glad to see our Cocke County folks achieving and advancing – in any field – but teaching will always hold a special place in my heart. I can write, rhyme, and reason because teachers showed me how, told me how, and taught me how. In my field – the Ministry – teaching is extremely important — and My Master – The Jewish Carpenter – was a Master Teacher with the most important – the most vital – the most unique Teaching Plan ever!

And I thank my teachers for all the various forms of input they infused into my future; that maybe has – and can continue to be – vital to someone’s eternal future!

Thank you, dear readers, for allowing me to just settle down and say these simple, but profound, words!

God bless you, Teachers!

Tom Mooty has served Newport’s West End Baptist Church as Supply Pastor, Interim Pastor, Pastor, Senior Pastor, and now Medicare Minister; and writes this column twice-weekly. You can contact Mooty at temooty37821@att.net or through the Newport Plain Talk Editor with comments. Unsigned letters, non-descript e-mails, and anonymous phone calls are routinely deleted.

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