He’ll be Remembered for His Character, Not His Test Scores


This morning’s daily Facebook check led me to several posts written by my nephew’s wife, whom I adore.  Post after post about a young man named Eric Williams.  He was a friend of my nephew and his wife, and they are grieving deeply.

Sgt. Williams was killed in Afghanistan last month, as he was headed back home after his second tour of duty.  He was a medic.

Jess posted links to articles written about their friend and about his funeral service.  What struck me was this young man’s character.  A friend whose life was saved by Sgt. Williams, spoke at the funeral.  A large group of my nephew’s friends made the trip to California to honor Eric.

This young man will be remembered by his family and friends as compassionate, funny, the life of the party.

What does that have to do with teaching?  As we gear up for another year, I want to keep in mind that the important things I teach are those things that can’t be seen on a test paper, and can’t be measured and graphed.  And I also want to remember that the most important things are taught by parents and the best I can do is reinforce things like honor, compassion, and duty.  I would have been proud to have been Eric Williams’ teacher.

Staff Sgt. Eric Williams

To read more about Staff Sgt. Williams, click here.


2 responses »

  1. I just discovered your blog and spent an enjoyable morning reading most of your archives. Although this was a meaningful place to stop blogging, I hope you will begin again as I found real value in your posts. Thank you.

    • Thank you so much! This has been one of the most difficult years of my teaching career – 26 years in. I can’t tell you how your words have given me encouragement. I might not get back to it in the next few weeks, as we’re gearing up for state testing, but I would like to begin writing again. It’s very therapeutic!

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