Why a Teacher Removed all of the Desks in Her Classroom

Real Estate Agent with Perry Wellington Realty WV0026375

school deskBack in September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a social studies school teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock, did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks out of her classroom.
When the first period kids entered the room they discovered that there were no desks.
'Ms. Cothren, where're our desks?'
She replied, 'You can't have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk.'
They thought, 'Well, maybe it's our grades.'
'No,' she said.
'Maybe it's our behavior.'
She told them, 'No, it's not even your behavior.'
And so, they came and went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom.
By early afternoon television news crews had started gathering in Ms.Cothren's classroom to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her room.
The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the deskless classroom, Martha Cothren said, 'Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he/she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you.'
At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it.
Twenty-seven (27) U.S. Veterans, all in uniforms, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand alongside the  wall. By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned..
Martha said, 'You didn't earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. Now, it's up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don't ever forget it.'
By the way, this is a true story.

REMEMBER  the freedoms we have in this great country were earned by U. S. Veterans.


Rebecca Gaujot, REALTOR® | 304-520-2133
Coldwell Banker | Stuart & Watts Real Estate
Thinking of buying or selling a house, call me...Your WV Real Estate Connection for Lewisburg, WV/Greenbrier County.

LewisburgWV and GreenbrierCounty RealEstate
Your Connection to West Virginia Mountain Splendor


Posted by

Your Real Estate Connection for Lewisburg, WV and the Greenbrier County

    Rebecca Gaujot  


If I can assist you in any way with your real estate needs in Lewisburg, WV, Greenbrier County or the surrounding areas, please feel free to contact me by phone at
(304) 520-2133
, email
or visit my website at



Perry Wellington Realty

Adam Conrad, Broker

Martha Hilton, Managing Broker



       Rebecca Gaujot on FacebookRebecca Gaujot on TwitterRebecca Gaujot on LinkedInRebecca Gaujot on YouTubeRebecca Gaujot on GooglePlusRebecca Gaujot blog feed Follow Me on Pinterest



Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Steve Hoffacker 12/05/2009 05:49 AM
  2. Gerry Michaels 12/06/2009 04:43 AM
  3. Joyce Kelley 12/08/2009 01:11 PM
  4. David Zablatsky 02/12/2010 04:19 PM
ActiveRain Community
Inspiration !!
Diary of a Realtor
Addicted to Active Rain
Cosmic Cow Pie...The Rome Way
Support Our Troops Friday
us veterans
classroom lesson

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker (503) 810-7192
BuyersAgentPortland.com | Portland Metro Exclusive Buyers Agent | 100% Buyer Representation ~ 100% of the Time - Portland, OR
Buyer Focused ~ Buyer Results

Rebecca . . . this is a GREAT blog.  Thank you.  I've traveled to several countries in Africa and Asia where EDUCATION -- PUBLIC EDUCATION -- DOES NOT EXIST!!  The things we (as Americans) can take for granted is amazing. 

YES . . . we have a FREE society, and it COST US dearly!! 

Dec 04, 2009 01:13 PM #1
David Zablatsky
Avant Realty Group - Needham, MA
Real Estate - Needham, MA

Wow, Rebecca


great blog, amazing story, thank you for sharing it.



Dec 04, 2009 01:18 PM #2
Jamie Parker Gwinnett
Keller Williams - Snellville, GA
Realtor, Snellville Homes

Thank you so much for your great blog.  We take for granted what we have and don't often think about what it really cost.

Dec 04, 2009 01:19 PM #3
Paul F. Stillwaggon
Weichert Realtors - Warren, NJ
NJ Estates Real Estate Group, Weichert Realtors

That was a wow, great blog.

Dec 04, 2009 01:25 PM #4
Steve Hoffacker
Steve Hoffacker LLC - West Palm Beach, FL
Certified Aging In Place Specialist-Instructor


I have seen this before but it is great to see it again. The flip side to this is that many of the teachers that occupy classrooms everyday don't understand this concept - that theire freedom to teach also was purchased. :)


Dec 04, 2009 01:45 PM #5
Steve Hoffacker
Steve Hoffacker LLC - West Palm Beach, FL
Certified Aging In Place Specialist-Instructor


I was going to reblog this but you didn't allow that. Great post that many more people should see. :)


Dec 04, 2009 01:46 PM #6
Carra Riley
Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd - Westminster, CO


What a wonderful reminder...everyday, I think we should express gratitude for many things and freedom and our armed forces are included in my list.

"REMEMBER  the freedoms we have in this great country were earned by U. S. Veterans." 

Dec 04, 2009 02:31 PM #7
Rebecca Gaujot
Perry Wellington Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Thanks to everyone for visiting .... I have changed from "Members Only" to "Public" as some have wanted to reblog.

Dec 05, 2009 12:24 AM #9
Tom Boos
Sine & Monaghan Realtors, Real Living - Grosse Pointe Farms, MI
Providing the very best of service to Sellers and

Wow. .. I guess kids CAN learn some valuable lessons in schools today.  Right-thinking teachers make all the difference in the world.  Thanks for relating this inspirational story.

Dec 05, 2009 03:27 AM #10
Gerry Michaels
Glasswork Media Arts - Gettysburg, PA
GettysburgGerry Social Meida

That is powerfull, I love this story, I hadn't heard it before, thanks for sharing I will be sharing as well

Dec 05, 2009 04:41 AM #11
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker


This is a great lesson, and the kids will remember it forever.

I'm glad someone did this. It would be a nice item to include in a movie so that it would be widely seen, and hopefully copied.


Dec 05, 2009 04:50 AM #12
Donna Bigda
RE/MAX Alliance - Branford, CT
Greater New Haven CT Real Estate

Rebecca - This is just awesome.  I came across Steve Hoffacker's reblog of this and had to come over and comment directly on your post.  There should be more teachers like Martha Cothren who inspire their students with what the true cost of freedom is and to be forever grateful for those who made it possible.

Dec 05, 2009 08:12 AM #13
Rebecca Gaujot
Perry Wellington Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Everyone.....thank you for stopping by to read this inspirational story.  As Brian stated, a great lesson and the kids will remember it forever.

Dec 05, 2009 09:15 AM #14
Charles Perkins
Charles G. Perkins, CPA - Burien, WA

Thanks for sharing this story.  This teacher has made a strong impression on these kids that most of them probably will never forget.  It's wonderful to hear about great teachers that have the courage teach real lessons and find creative ways to help these lessons sink in.

Dec 05, 2009 05:17 PM #15
Joyce Kelley
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc - Gulf Breeze, FL
Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl.

THanks so much Rebecca for sharing this post lest we forget that fredom is not free. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Dec 25, 2009 04:39 AM #16
Gary Swanson
Century 21 Harris & Taylor - Grants Pass, OR

Hi Rebecca, thanks for sharing this story.  We should never forget that freedom isn't free.

Feb 12, 2010 04:25 PM #17
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Rebecca Gaujot

Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate
Your Connection to West Virginia Mountain Splendor
Spam prevention

Additional Information