In an email, Allen explained his decision, saying he did not like the privileges afforded athletes, such as immediate seating in restaurants, preferential dorm accommodations, and other perks. These made Allen uncomfortable. How many athletes have a moral compass that guides them to reject the bonuses that come from playing a sport at a major university? How many athletes are so troubled with the inequity and unfairness that they sacrifice their childhood dreams? This is what Allen did and why he remains one of the most impressive students I’ve taught.
Without question, all teachers have stories about students who have made a difference in their lives. Mark and Allen are only two of many. Sometimes keeping focused on the positive characteristics of students is a struggle, especially this time of year when seniors who have avoided attending class find a newfound interest in the impending outcome of their choices!
Sadly, sometimes those students who impact us most do so in negative ways. My goal is to focus on the positive, so I'll share more stories about the positive impact students have had on my life in the future. With thirty years experience, I have many tales to tell, and can write my own "Jeopardy" category!