Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2023 #Potluck – #SettingExamples #Excellence #Kindness Seeing Both Sides of the Coin by Pete Springer

Welcome to the new series of Posts from Your Archives 2023 where I will be sharing posts from the last six months of 2022 I have selected from the archives of willing participants. If you wish to be included the information is at the the end of the post.

Retired teacher and author Pete Springer shares the story about a sheriff deputy whose act of kindness had the opportunity to inspire youngsters and how we need to look at both sides of a coin when forming our opinions.

Seeing Both Sides of the Coin by Pete Springer

Photo Credit to Pixabay

I recently read a wonderful story today about a local sheriff’s deputy and his small act of kindness that I wanted to share with my readers. Eel River Deputy Kellen Brown stopped by the Table Bluff Reservation to enjoy a game of basketball with some kids. Though the article did not mention it, I assume this happened during his lunch hour or day off. While playing, he noticed that the nets were worn. Deputy Brown followed up by going to the store, purchasing some new ones, and returning to the reservation to put them up.

Deputy Brown removing the old net. (Photo from Facebook)

Newly installed net. (Photo from Facebook)

This story struck me for several reasons. Despite all the negativity in the world, thousands of examples of people doing positive things go unrecognized daily. The children who witnessed this officer’s act of generosity may be inspired to do the same. A simple act of kindness may change a child’s perspective regarding the police.

Photo Credit to Kindel Media on Pexels

It also made me wonder why many can’t see two sides of the same coin. I don’t come from a law enforcement family and have no agenda for sharing this story. I believe that most police officers do a difficult job well. They should be recognized and appreciated for their excellent work protecting our communities. They must make snap life-or-death decisions, and it’s easy to be a back seat driver and point out the times when the police made terrible decisions.

At the same time, we should want high standards for our police officers. We don’t want people in positions of authority abusing their powers. It’s wrong to expect anything less. Defending poor police officers is part of the problem. Failing to recognize that there have been many instances of abuse toward minorities is wrong. I often wonder why people get so defensive when this subject arises.

The bottom line is that we should never lump any profession or group of people into one category. I was a career teacher, and I feel the same about those in education. I think an extraordinary number of educators (administrators, teachers, and support staff) do a fantastic job teaching our youth. Schools receive children from all kinds of backgrounds. Some kids come to school with excellent family support, while others receive no guidance and are on their own. We expect our teachers to educate every student and meet all their diverse needs.

Photo Credit to Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

Unfortunately, like in any profession, some educators fail to live up to our high expectations. It saddens me to learn of those who abuse their positions of authority. It is not only a stain on them but detracts from those in the profession who do their job well.

There are other professions we seem to attach with many negative labels—lawyers and politicians come to mind. While there are undoubtedly bad apples among those groups, it’s not fair to label people in those fields with blanket stereotypes such as “they’re all a bunch of crooks.” I don’t believe that sentiment; I’m sure some are doing extraordinary work.

Labeling people is lazy and irresponsible. I don’t watch that much television, but I observe how two networks can spin the same event through their political lens. Their biases shine through, both from the left and the right. I believe, in part, this has contributed to the intolerance and distrust some feel toward anyone different from them. I reject the notion that someone with a differing political ideology than me is automatically evil or wrong.

I’ll bring this back full circle by coming back to Deputy Brown. We respect people like him for their actions. It has nothing to do with his color, ethnicity, religion, or politics. If we insist on judging others as we humans like to do, the least we can do is draw our conclusions from things that matter.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.” —Martin Luther King Jr.

Photo Credit to Pinterest 

©Pete Springer 2022

My thanks to Pete for participating in the series and I know he would love to hear from you.

About Pete Springer

My name is Pete Springer. I taught elementary school for thirty-one years (grades 2-6) at Pine Hill School in Eureka, CA. Even though I retired over three years ago, my passion will always lie with supporting education, kids, and teachers.

When I came out of the teaching program many years ago, I realized how unprepared I was for what was in store for me in the classroom. My college education focused mostly on learning theory rather than the practical day-to-day challenges that all teachers face. Thankfully, I had some great mentors to lean on to help support me in the early part of my career.

I have made it my mission to pay it forward to the next generation of teachers. I was a master teacher to four student teachers, and I have several former students who are now teachers, including one who teaches at my former elementary school. That is pretty cool!

While I was teaching, I decided that one day I would write books for children. That ship is now in the harbor. I took some writing workshops, found a writing critique group, joined SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), and I recently finished writing my first middle-grade novel. I’ve always connected with kids, and this is my new way of teaching.

My debut MG novel, Second Chance Summer, just got professionally edited, and I will be querying in the coming weeks.

One of the reviews for the book that I can also recommend

D.L. Finn 5.0 out of 5 stars Great for parents, new teachers, and those who want to be inspired.  Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 9, 2023

“They Call Me Mom” is an insightful look into being an elementary teacher. It starts with not only how Mr. Springer became a teacher after a few years of working minimum wage jobs to the wisdom gained through over thirty years of teaching. This is a great book if you want to understand what it takes to be a skilled teacher and the work behind it. As a student, I had a few outstanding teachers motivate me. As a parent some teachers encouraged not only their class but the parents too. It’s not only from hard work but a level of caring that shines through as it does in this memoir. I enjoyed reading not only his philosophies but how they were applied. The student stories were touching and sometimes amusing. Reading this was good timing for me as my son just signed up to get his high school teaching credentials—so I will pass this along to him. I can easily recommend this to all new teachers, parents, and those who want to be inspired by someone who loved their job and gave it their all. 

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – and:Amazon UK – Read more reviews:Goodreads – Website: Pete Springer WordPressTwitter: @OfficerWoof


How to feature in the series?

  • All I need you to do is give me permission to dive in to your archives and find two posts to share here on Smorgasbord. (
  • Rather than a set topic, I will select posts at random of general interest across a number of subjects from the second six months of 2022. (it is helpful if you have a link to your archives in your sidebar by month)
  • As I will be promoting your books as part of the post along with all your information and links so I will not be sharing direct marketing or self- promotional posts in the series.
  • If you are an author I am sure you will have a page on your blog with the details, and an ‘about page’ with your profile and social media links (always a good idea anyway). I will get everything that I need.
  • As a blogger I would assume that you have an ‘about page’ a profile photo and your links to social media.
  • Copyright is yours and I will ©Your name on every post… and you will be named as the author in the URL and subject line.
  • Previous participants are very welcome to take part again.
  • Each post is reformatted for my blog and I don’t cut and paste, this means it might look different from your own post especially if you are using the block editor
  • If I do share a post which contains mainly photographs I will share up to five and link back to the original post for people to view the rest.

N.B – To get the maximum benefit from your archive posts, the only thing I ask is that you respond to comments individually and share on your own social media.. thank you.


87 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2023 #Potluck – #SettingExamples #Excellence #Kindness Seeing Both Sides of the Coin by Pete Springer

  1. It’s good to know that people notice these little acts, Pete. It’s particularly good to know that this is how you feel, and that you passed this on–most likely by example–to the children who came through your classrooms. These are stories worth sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A wonderful, and wonderfully important, post! Thank you for sharing this one today, Sally, as I hadn’t read it before. And thank you, Pete, for your years as a teacher who really cared about his work and the students in his classes. I’m looking forward to reading They Call Me Mom.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. What a wonderful post from Pete. I think his posts encourage us all to be our best selves. “The bottom line is that we should never lump any profession or group of people into one category.” That line summed up the post beautifully. And a great review from Denise for a wonderfully positive book that I also enjoyed. Great choice to share, Sally.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I love the simplistic honor and generosity in Pete’s post. We should never judge an entire profession by the actions of a few. Seeing both sides of the coin is balanced. Thank you, Sally, for sharing this one.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. This is definatley a great story and a great post.
    We certainly need to see people for who they are and not what we judge them to be.
    Very sound and wise advice.

    I’m currently reading ‘they call me Mom’, it’s good to know that despite different locations, (England/America) that the role of the teacher is just the same. (Some variations)

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for your support, Sue. I enjoy talking to educators in other countries to understand what is and isn’t working well in their educational systems. Research has shown that the teacher is the most critical variable in a child’s success. Sure, having access to the best educational resources is helpful, but what good are they without someone who inspires us?

      Liked by 3 people

      • Yes you are right.
        I think here (not sure if it’s the same in the states?) it seems that the school day is punchy and regimented and the lessons pacey. As to the children’s attainment !!! Don’t get me started!
        Everything is measured and scrutinised. No wonder so many young teachers suffer burn out and either move on to management or leave the profession.
        I was glad to have experienced the play-work and management there in between children and retutning to teach.
        I’m not sure all of this is really good for the children either. We all learn differently and shouldn’t be put in the same box.

        Having taught on supply cover for a few years I see that children are all the same wherever they are, it’s just their location and life experiences that change.

        Liked by 3 people

  6. I love this post, Pete! There is so much that is good/hopeful/beautiful in our world, but we’re distracted by the barrage of examples of the opposite. Your closing quotes by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are perfect. Thank you! Hugs to both you and Sally. ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Thanks for choosing this post, Sally. I had forgotten all about writing it. In an era when violence has become commonplace, I still believe there is far more good than evil in the world. Let’s put our faith in the next generation to carry the torch.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Great share Sal. This was a wonderful post from Pete. He is so right how people are stereotyped and judged in lumps instead of being an individual. Thanks for bringing this to the forefront Pete! ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I enjoyed this post, Pete. The press generally publish sensationalist- type negative stories about police and politicians to sell newspapers. People read these stories and tar them all with the same brush. However, as you say, there is a lot of good done in the world too, which often goes unseen.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Pete, this is a terrific post! I agree with Stevie that it’s the negative stories that sell. Social media gives so much drooling coverage over violent crimes, yet the good goes unnoticed. I’m with you in that I genuinely believe that the vast majority of people want the best for the world and all those in it, but their gestures are hidden under the rants of hate. We’ve had plenty in the press here over the last couple of years about policemen who have abused their power, and it’s these stories that dominate the narrative. You make an excellent point about not covering for these acts because that taints everyone. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Round Up – 20th -26th February 2023 – Trips, Birthdays, Gifts, Big Band Era, Podcast, Book Reviews, Health and Funnies. | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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