Tabitha Tudy Jones of Memphis, TN was on her way home from the post office one day, when she was awestruck by the sight of this man herding a crew of children across the road, with their hands in his.
It turns out, this man was Carl Schneider, a special ed teacher at Whitney Achievement. He’s part of an organized teacher group that walks approximately 200 students home from school each day. Quite a few of the students live in apartments and homes that are a long haul from the school grounds, and these teachers wanted to make sure that they get home safely.
“When we started to launch the school, we recognized that there was a need in the community for children to be able to get home safely,” said Debra Broughton, Whitney Achievement’s Principal. With at least 200 of their students having a 2-mile walk home, the school wanted to do their part to protect the young ones from any harm.
And the benefits are two-fold, because the long walks home allow for extra bonding time outside the classroom that forges a stronger relationship between the students and teachers.
As for Schneider, he’s known for taking all 40 of his students home. Schneider says, “You just get to know the kids and talk about what they did over the weekend or how their behavior was at school that day or what they learned.”
While he’s shocked that it received national coverage, he’s also glad that it did so that people know these teachers are really invested in their students and truly care about their community.
It’s a beautiful sight when teachers go beyond the math and reading lessons and teach their students lessons in relationship building as well.
Over their 2 mile walks, they get to go beyond 2+2 and delve into what they’re eating for dinner, how their mom is doing, and what they want to be when they grow up.
…And those are the life lessons that stick.