In recent years, stories of teachers reaching into their own pockets in order to provide supplies, clothing, and gifts to students have shined a light on just how much educators care about those entrusted to them. It’s a spirit that not only warms the hearts of those who read the posts, but most importantly, the students who see it in action each and every day in classrooms around the country.
So when a Nebraska teacher was recently the victim of theft, his students all rallied together to make sure their teacher knew that his years of dedication hadn’t gone unnoticed.
Trey Payne is an educator at Logan Fontenelle Middle School and a familiar face around both the school and the community. When he’s not molding young minds in the classroom, Payne also serves as a referee for the school’s basketball games. Back in January, an expensive pair of Nike Zoom KD12 shoes went missing from Payne’s classroom. With no sign of the sneakers or indication of who may have taken them, his students took it upon themselves to all chip in and surprise their favorite teacher.
A video posted online shows Payne’s incredible reaction:
— Emma Mitchell (@EmmaxMitchell) January 28, 2020
Overwhelmed by the student’s gesture, Payne breaks down as most anyone else in his position would have. The children seeing in real-time how a small act of kindness can have a major impact.
Payne sharing his gratitude along with what it meant to have his students step up in such an unexpected way on the district’s Facebook page. “It’s more than a pair of shoes, it’s about doing things to build everyone up around you. I try to show my kids this and I think the lesson has sunk in for many, in turn, reaffirming my purpose and my ideals.”
With many concerned for future generations, a quick look at stories like this go to show that they learn from those around them. People like teachers, administrators, bus drivers and community members at large who all help to shape our children day in and day out.
Kindness, compassion, and empathy are all contagious, so while we all may be trying to avoid the flu, there are certainly a few things we hope our kids pick up while they’re out in the world.