We Are Family by Liz Ray
“School is more than education. It is LIFE.” This was written on the Academics Divider of the 1973 Smoke Signals Adrian R-III yearbook.
And, yes, to me, school is more than education—more even than verbs and nouns. It is LIFE and life as a family—a big family working together, both students and teachers.
I wanted my students to know that I cared, not just that they learned the subject matter, but that I cared for their personal problems too.
I can remember staying after school sitting at one of the big work tables in the “dungeon” as we called it (the girls old basement dressing room and showers turned into the journalism room) talking about problems a student was having.
And then as a family we knew deadlines were sacred and I remember taking yearbook layouts to Kevin Wood in the hospital. The caption in the 1981 yearbook under the picture of Kevin in his neck brace and me working on the layouts, read. “Determined to get the yearbook done despite obstacles, adviser Mrs. Liz Ray brings Kevin Wood his layouts to the hospital. He was to work at school at 9 a.m. Saturday but his mother called around 8:00 saying he had a wreck the night before, so Mrs. Ray just changed the scene and took the work to him.”
Yes, as a family we worked together to meet our deadlines, not letting anything hinder us.
I have been retired now for 26 years and I had the privilege of teaching all 30 years at Adrian R-III—1960-61 to 1990-91.
Teaching English, speech, and journalism, I was also adviser for the school newspaper Drumbeats for 24 years and the yearbook Smoke Signals for 23 years.
I have always said, “Once your student, always your student—just in a different capacity.”
Yes, being a teacher is a FOREVER thing. And there is a teacher that I want to be mine for life also. He’s the greatest Teacher of all and His name is Jesus.
“He will teach the ways that are right and best to those who humbly turn to him…(Psalm 25:9 TLB)
Love in Jesus,
God’s “forever” teacher,