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Math Teacher Breathes Hope into Life of Student

Jeff Jernigan writes in “The Power of a Loving Man“:

I was poor in math until I hit eighth grade. For some now unfathomable reason, I found it easier to cheat and get failing grades than study and get passing grades. My math teacher caught me cheating but never told my parents. He had the grace to help me see the difference between what I was becoming and what I could be. He came alongside with helps that appropriately addressed self-esteem, learning skills, and socialization. I was pretty much an introvert in those days. What he did was always exude optimism about my potential and the inevitability of becoming an A student. He created a space into which dropped hope. I became as hopeful as he was.

He sheltered me from the ridicule of other students and the rejection of my parents, and had nothing but confident expectation in my ability to succeed. I did succeed. To this day, I'm the math whiz in the family. I never cheated again.

My world is a far different place now, not simply because I succeeded at junior high math. It's different because in the eighth grade someone breathed hope into my life—and showed me how to breathe it into the lives of others. When I became a believer a decade later, this lesson took on new meaning.

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