When Camden revealed something about his father to his teacher, Nancy, she knew it was time to sit down and have a little chat. He was clearly perturbed, and Nancy wanted to know what the matter was. Nancy didn’t even blink when Camden told her that he was frightened to see his father.
When someone goes into the profession of teaching, they do it because they love it. They love the fact that they get the chance to help mold a child’s mind or to be someone the child could trust and depend on. Kindergarten teacher, Nancy Bleur, is a loving and caring 54-year-old lady who adores her students and goes the extra mile to make sure they are happy and well cared for. How far would Nancy go to help Camden?
Camden had become very anti-social in the last few weeks, which was not at all like the little boy. Something inside Nancy told her that something just wasn’t right. Camden had stopped playing with other kids and seemed to be extremely distracted when he was in class. Even more worrying, Camden now spent the majority of his time alone. Nancy knew something was up, but what was it?
As Nancy could tell something was wrong with Camden, she already knew she was going to help him, whatever the problem would be. Nancy set out to connect with Camden to hear what he had to say. After speaking to him, she realized he was having a bit of trouble at home. She knew she had to get to the bottom of it.
As teacher Nancy heard what little Camden had to say, she immediately made it her first priority to get in touch with his father to further investigate the issues that surrounded the boy’s unhappiness. It wasn’t the easiest phone call to make, but Nancy got to the bottom of Camden’s troubles. Pulling Camden’s dad’s phone number from the school records, she asked him such an unexpected question that he asked her to repeat it twice.
Darreld, Camden’s dad, immediately thought the worst when he answered his son’s teacher’s call. Had he gotten in trouble at school? Had something happened? But when Nancy told him the true reason for her call, he was completely blindsided. He hadn’t expected Camden to let his secret slip. She was onto him. Then, she asked him a question.
Nancy had thought long and hard before calling Camden’s dad. Was she out of line? But when she saw Camden’s face in her mind, she knew she had to do it. She had thought carefully about phrasing the question so as not to offend Darreld. She only hoped she was doing the right thing by asking. When she heard his answer, she knew she had to act immediately.
Nancy had never imagined that Camden’s problems at home would extend to this. The little boy had confided to her that strangers in uniforms had paid more than one visit to his home in the last few weeks. He was most worried that his dad would be taken away again. But what could his teacher do about it?
Nancy had worried that it wasn’t her place to interfere in her student’s life, but she had interacted with so many children in her years of teaching that she knew she had to do something. She had seen situations like this escalate before. The day that Camden had come to her and confessed, he could hardly keep it together. He didn’t understand what was happening to his family.
Miss Nancy meant the world to her young student. Camden knew that if Miss Nancy couldn’t help, nobody could. She promised him that she would do everything in her power to make things right – even if that meant making the ultimate sacrifice. But first, she needed to make a decision.
Nancy had a hunch, but she had to be absolutely sure going forward. It was one of the hardest decisions she ever had to make. She was determined to give Camden the life he so deserved. But nobody could ever have suspected that she would go this far – least of all, Camden’s father.
As soon as school was out, Nancy rushed to the nearest hospital to fill out the required paperwork. Then, she made an appointment for psychological counseling. It was required that she was sure of her mental state going forward. She knew that what she was about to embark on wouldn’t be easy.
After a string of tests, Nancy finally got the results. Her psychological evaluation looked good. Her mind was sound enough to do what she needed to do, and her body was strong enough to handle what was coming her way. The tests proved that Nancy was not only willing to help Camden, but that she was the only one who could.
It turned out that Camden’s dad, Darreld Petersen, wasn’t doing so well health-wise. In fact, Darreld’s future looked pretty bleak. He was having serious problems with the functioning of his kidneys. They were only operating at 20% of their capacity. During the dialysis treatment he was getting, he looked so sick that Camden was distraught by the reality of it. That’s when Nancy decided to do something amazing.
This is where the story begins to get interesting. You would think teacher Nancy would offer to babysit and take care of Camden when Darreld couldn’t. Not only did she feel bad for Darreld, but she was worried about how Camden would be affected. But this goes far beyond that kind of menial support. Nancy wanted to solve the family’s problems.
After Nancy asked Darreld the very important question, the teacher decided that she would help the family in any way possible and make an extraordinary offer. She underwent all the required tests and filled out all the paperwork. Luckily for Darreld, It turns out that Nancy was a perfect match. A match for what, exactly?
Camden’s family was obviously in complete awe — there aren’t many people that would have been willing to offer to donate one of their own kidneys! Days before the procedure, Camden’s family visited Nancy at the school with flowers and many thank-yous. “I had friends and family come forward who wanted to donate, but these didn’t work out, for medical reasons or other reasons,” Darreld said later, “then Miss Nancy approached me.”
After numerous interviews with local news stations who all praised Nancy for her selflessness, the big moment had finally arrived. She said her goodbyes and drove to the hospital to complete the procedure. Darrel later said that he was having second thoughts, concerned about Nancy’s health. But she was determined and ready to risk it all.
Iowa’s best transplant surgeons, Alan Reed, MD; Zoe Stewart Lewis, MD, Ph.D.; and Daniel Katz, MD, assured Nancy’s fans that she was in the best hands. The attending surgeons and nurses stayed by Darreld and Nancy’s side the entire time, ensuring that the pair stayed calm during the procedure. “You could tell that every person wanted to be there for you,” Darreld explained. But was the surgery a success?
The transplant procedure was a success! The family, overwhelmed by Nancy’s generosity, were waiting for her as soon as she came to. They rushed in to hug and kiss her and promised that they will always be a second family to her and support her however they could — what she had given them was priceless. And nobody was more grateful than Camden.
Of course, Camden was ecstatic. Seeing his dad healthy and energetic again after such a long illness made his heart fill with joy. Simply unable to hide his happiness, he thanked his teacher Nancy and made her a promise: he’d be the best student she’ll ever have. But there were still a few more things that the family had to do…
After the successful procedure, Darreld and Nancy decided to take action. They wanted to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation and try to call attention to the University of Iowa Transplant Center Team. Soon, the media got wind of Nancy’s act of generosity and were happy to help her with her new cause.
But Nancy remains humble: “I had a co-worker who, years ago, had donated a kidney to someone in her church,” Nancy said in an interview. “It was an important part of her life’s journey, and that was inspirational to me. When I heard about Darreld and Camden’s situation, it just felt like the right thing to do.”
When Nancy had received the news that she was a match for Darreld she couldn’t have been happier. “I was really excited about it. I was ecstatic. I don’t know what I would’ve done for closure if I wasn’t a match,” she stated later. But what does Darreld have to say about the woman who saved his life?
“She’s a part of my family for the rest of her life whether she likes it or not,” he said. “The Iowa City team is a part of my family. Everything’s just been amazing, and I hope everyone has the same experience I had.” “How do you ever thank someone for saving your life?” Darreld asks. “She really is an amazing woman.” Nancy went above and beyond as a teacher and a human being when she decided to help Camden’s dad — teachers are always prepared for unusual situations. Our next teacher is no exception. When Mrs. Nabors checked her student’s backpack one morning, nothing could have prepared her for what she found inside — nor the reaction of her students.
It was only after morning work that Mrs. Nabors finally remembered her duty, and went along her way to search student backpacks and bookbags. She found the usual things: books, pencils, the occasional snack that was supposed to be in their lunchbox. All was normal until one girl looked… nervous.
Bag checks are becoming increasingly necessary as we march on through the year. From benign distractions like cell phones and fidget toys (with obvious exceptions) to malicious products that do harm on the inside and outside of the student body, teachers and security must be on high alert- but surely the younger kids get a pass?
Unfortunately, elementary school students are now subjected to the same laws as the older students. They can never be too young to be assumed a criminal. This attitude has sparked outrage in many a teacher/parent sphere, and parents wonder, “will this accusation cause my kids to lose their innocence?”
While the question of innocence may not be a question lawmakers and security guards can answer, one thing is for certain: sometimes it is necessary. Though most kids bringing banned items may not be doing it out of a want to harm their classmates, hurt them they certainly can — through allergies, sharp objects, or simple clumsy fingers.
Just like every other school, student safety is a top priority for Jefferson Elementary School in Jefferson County, Georgia. As a result, students of all grades get their bags checked by their teachers after the morning announcements. Most teachers don’t expect to find more than a gaming system, but today was different for Mrs. Nabors.
Mrs. Bobbie Nabor teaches Second Grade at the Jefferson Elementary school. Though young, she trusts that kids know what and what not to bring to school that day, and generally doesn’t sweat over checking student bags for a little extra safety. Generally, the kids don’t either- until that day when she noticed something unusual.
That morning, the kids had been excited. The morning announcements had mentioned an upcoming book fair, and no matter how old a kid is, book fairs are one of the most exciting events of the year (Ask anyone in a public school- they’ll tell you.) This, to her regret, distracted her from checking the bags first.
It had taken a bit to get the wound-up second graders to focus on their morning work, so the routine took even longer than usual. In fact, Mrs. Nabors had almost forgotten to do the bag checks at all. What contraband could they possibly be smuggling in — a Nintendo? Nevertheless, she started checking them.
From the way one student acted, it was much more than a game. As Mrs. Nabors bent to check her bag, she found with a start that the bag was moving. For those uninitiated with backpacks, move they certainly do not. She reached down to open it, concerned about what she’d find inside.
A pair of eyes greeted her- the tiny face of a brown puppy. Mrs. Nabors pulled the dog out of the little girl’s backpack and looked over at her. She could punish her for bringing a dog to school — the little girl could endanger the children with pet allergies. But Mrs. Nabors had another option…
Mrs. Nabors gently passed the small dog around, to the wonderment of her students. Each one got a chance to hold and pet him, and he quickly became a classroom favorite. After all, the girl was too young to be punished harshly when she only couldn’t part from her animal friend. One question remained, though.
Where had the dog come from? Mrs. Nabors asked the girl, whose name remains anonymous. She had the most classic, honest answer that could come from a child, “My mom must’ve put him in there.” Because of course, she did. The child had nothing to do with it. The fun couldn’t last forever, however.
Though he was a class hit and quite calm for a puppy, he couldn’t stay in the classroom forever. The puppy, named Jake, had to go home. Mrs. Nabors called the girl’s mother to come to pick him up from school, back to his food and water and puppy pan. Before he left, though, she made a decision.
She knew the announced book fair still needed a mascot for it to be official, and it seemed he was already popular with her impromptu focus group. Jake became the mascot, and his slogan, “Paws for a Good Book” gave the event a personal touch. But what other effects did Jake have on the school?
Jake isn’t the only dog who’s been at school now. There’s a local service dog named Dottie who attends to one of the students, a good working dog. Jake probably wouldn’t like the shared attention, though. To end this on terrible puns, Jake would say, “paws off, Dottie! I’m Top Dog around here!”