Keller: Teachers impact eternity through their work

Published 3:11 pm Monday, August 11, 2014

Discharged from the Navy in January, 1957, I was ready to leave the comfort zone of a structured military life.

I was then free to choose what I would do to make a living. Having a strong desire to be a teacher and coach, I decided to go to college. I was eligible for the GI bill that would help finance my education.

My decision was influenced by my experience while attending elementary and high school. I was blessed to have tremendously good, caring teachers, who touched my life.  To name a few, who are now deceased, but I still remember them:

• Sister Mary Evangelist had a passion for teaching and serving God.

• Mr. Joseph Bossier was a good teacher, who also coached because he loved sports.

• Mr. Perry Guidry, a high school English teacher, later earned his doctorate and taught at LSU. He liked me, but I honestly believe he passed me so I didn’t have to repeat his class.

• Miss Josie Cambre (later Mrs. Jack Snowdy) was as dedicated to the teaching profession as any teacher.

• Mr. Felix Berthelot, the typing teacher, and I had something in common. We both loved baseball. I could only type 19 words a minute so he told me to skip his class and practice baseball.

Needless to say, my school days were exciting because of the teachers who, regardless of passive students like myself, never seemed to be discouraged.

I’ve heard it said that a good teacher affects eternity. It’s impossible to tell where their influence stops.

I recall Charles Stanley, a pastor of a big church in Atlanta, relating how his fourth grade teacher encouraged him with a few words.

He overheard his teacher telling another teacher that one day he would be very successful and would touch people’s lives. In spite of the fact that Charles had an alcoholic father and a very dysfunctional family, he was very encouraged to do great things for the Kingdom of God because of a caring teacher.

That’s just one example of a teacher’s influence affecting eternity.

I never got a degree, in fact, after one year I quit college to get married.

Would I have been a good teacher? That’s the unknown. Do I have regrets? No.

Today I realize that God’s plan for my life was in my best interest. In fact, a classroom is not the only place to teach.

We are challenged as Christians to be teachers in our daily walk and, hopefully, lead others to spend eternity in Heaven. 


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