A student noticed that his favorite teacher had been absent too long and learned he struggled to feed his kids. The teenager organized something special for him and his family, and then they gathered at the professor’s house as a surprise.
Billy walked quickly towards the principal’s office and worked on what he had to say. He was going to ask their principal, Mr. Geller if Mr. Davidson was coming back anytime soon. Mr. Davidson was their original physics teacher, and he was the best in the world. He encouraged all the students, and even though physics could be tricky, he knew how to explain it well.
They currently had a substitute teacher because Mr. Davidson’s wife died, and the professor had some things to arrange and asked for time off to deal with the rest. But Billy and almost everyone in the class wanted him back soon. The substitute professor was fine, but he didn’t explain things as well. Also, he wasn’t as nice as Mr. Davidson.
Therefore, Billy was going to see if their original teacher was coming back at some point or if he could help. But just outside the office, Billy heard Mr. Geller talking with Mrs. Salinger, his assistant. And it was not good news.
But Billy scoffed. “I didn’t realize I had to ask permission to help our teacher,” he said mockingly.
“I don’t think Doyle will come back, Linda. He’s struggling,” the principal stated, and Billy’s ears perked.
“Why? It’s been almost a month,” Mrs. Salinger commented.
“Well, yes. But his wife was actually the one with the better-paying job, and now without her but with her medical bills, he’s struggling. Apparently, he can barely afford to feed his kids. He told me that he did the math and becoming a deliveryman for Amazon or Uber might be better for them. It’s terrible,” Mr. Perkins continued, and Billy could imagine him shaking his head.
“Well, being a high school teacher, even the most-loved one, is not the most lucrative job. We have to admit that,” Mrs. Salinger added.
“Yeah, I wish things were different. Anyway, get me Mr. Lucas’s information. We might have to offer him a permanent position,” the principal added, and Billy heard him walking away from Mrs. Salinger’s desk. The conversation was obviously over, and the teenager was devasted.
Mr. Davidson was not coming back? And he’s struggling to feed his kids while paying his debts? Billy wondered, scratching his head as he walked back to his classroom.
He had no idea what he or anyone could do for the man, but his friends noticed his worried face when he arrived at the class. So, Billy had to tell them, and they were all sad about it too. Their other classmates were curious, and soon enough, all suggested ideas.
“About a GoFundMe? People do that all the time,” a teen named Mark suggested. The others nodded in agreement.
“That’s a good idea,” Billy accented, but he pursed his lips. “How about a food drive too or maybe presents for his kids? Money is not the only problem they have. His kids lost their mom. They must be sad and depressed.”
“Yeah!” everyone agreed, and they started planning.
Billy made a GoFundMe that night, shared it on all social media, including their town Beaufort’s Facebook groups, and encouraged everyone to participate and share. People started donating immediately.
The other kids in his class organized a food and toy drive a few days later at the school. They placed a table on the quad and even made some posters that they posted around town so everyone could contribute too.
However, no one told the school staff, and Mr. Perkins was furious when he discovered the commotion they made outside school. “Billy! What is the meaning of this?” he demanded to know.
Billy shrugged and explained as if it was the most logical situation. “Mr. Davidson deserves it.”
“Who said you could do this? Who gave you permission?” Mr. Perkins asked angrily, and the quad’s noise was utterly silenced. Others had heard him, and they didn’t know what to do.
But Billy scoffed. “I didn’t realize I had to ask permission to help our teacher,” he said mockingly. Everyone nodded and laughed, but Mr. Perkins was not amused.
He started berating the students, told them to stop what they were doing immediately, and the situation started getting out of hand because none of them wanted to stop. Mr. Perkins even ripped one of the food boxes they had gathered from a teenager’s hands while yelling at who was near him.
But suddenly, everything stopped because Mrs. Finnegan, the wealthiest, most influential woman on the PTA, arrived. All her kids were honor roll students, including Harry, who was in Billy’s class and helping with the food drive. Other PTA moms accompanied the elegant woman, and Billy noted the bags of canned food in her hands.
“Hello, everyone! Oh, Mr. Perkins, there you are. I dropped by your office, but of course, you’re here with the kids,” she approached the principal, who had stopped yelling as soon as he saw her. “I have to tell you. When Harry told me about this, I was so proud. This is not only great charity and community work, but it’s the best for the school. Mr. Davidson is so much better. We need him on staff. And well, all the kids can put this on their college apps too.”
The people around her laughed, and Mr. Perkins’ mouth was tight with chagrin. Mrs. Finnegan added her bags to the piles and eventually took over the drive. Billy didn’t mind, and neither did the rest of the class because she had shut down their principal’s anger, and they could continue doing this for their beloved teacher.
A few hours later, they arranged everything, and Billy had a new idea, which he shared with his classmates. They all agreed, even Mrs. Finnegan and the other moms, and they all started packing up their cars and driving away.
Mr. Davidson opened his door to the biggest surprise he had ever seen. He was holding a toddler in his arms, and the kid started laughing. All his students and some moms were parking around his street and coming to his house. He felt embarrassed because his house was small but clean enough. However, he had no idea what was going on.
But one of his best students, Billy, came over, grinning widely, explaining the situation. The physics teacher had no words, and his two older kids came to the door. Billy tried explaining what was happening before Mrs. Finnegan took charge and directed everyone inside and to work. People started filling the teacher’s pantry with donations, and others played with the children. One of the other moms started feeding the toddler.
Mr. Davidson thanked them for the generosity, but he looked flustered by the situation. He wrung his hands and shifted from side to side as others worked around his house. But things calmed down as people left. But Billy was the last to go.
“We just wanted you to know, Mr. Davidson, that there’s no teacher like you. We want you back, and it’s horrible that teachers don’t get paid more for their hard work,” the student explained, and his eyes filled with tears. Mr. Davidson was more stoic, but he had been too emotional over his wife’s passing over the last month.
“We hope your family mourns without worries, and that you can return to teach us. Because you’re the best,” the student continued. “Oh, and we made a GoFundMe. When we reach the goal, I’ll send it too.”
Mr. Davidson was so grateful that he hugged the kid tightly, and even his children embraced Billy when he was about to leave.
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He watched the boy get into his car and drive off, but he stayed on his porch. Sometimes, you don’t know if your work is appreciated or if you’re making a difference as a teacher. But now I know I am, Mr. Davidson thought and finally went inside.
He returned to school two days later, as Billy’s GoFundMe was more than enough to pay for all the medical debt from his wife’s illness and passing. Mrs. Finnegan had donated the most, but Mr. Perkins also gave a generous amount.
The kids clapped as their teacher entered the classroom, and Mr. Davidson blushed. Before starting his class, he took a few moments to tell them how much their surprise meant to him and his kids. His words made all of them feel warm and emotional.
But the physics teacher coughed to clear his throat and snapped them out of it. “Ok, let’s get back to our regular schedule,” he said, grabbing his chalk and starting the lesson.
What can we learn from this story?
- Teachers should be better paid because they shape the future. It’s awful how underappreciated teachers can be, especially regarding salary, but Mr. Davidson learned that he was valued after such a memorable gesture.
- All it takes is one person that wants to do good for others to follow. Billy wanted to help Mr. Davidson, and his classmates signed up to help, following his lead. Even the PTA moms were encouraged to contribute as well.