July 1, 2012 by CassieCravings
It was the first thing I ever noticed about him. In fact, I had yet to meet him.
My mother and I poured over school supply lists, planning a strategic attack plan on all stores that carry school supplies.
“Green grading pens,” I mused, “Mom. Grading pens aren’t green.”
“They are when you’re color blind.”
He graded in green. Color blind or not, that was so Chance.
There was something about the way he walked into a classroom. The way that he stood over his desk, bursting with energy for the class to begin. He grinned as the bell would ring and kids would file in. It was as if he had a secret that he couldn’t wait to share.
Kids that didn’t love Language Arts before were racing to class. They were cracking books for fun. They were enjoying the writing process. He had a knack for getting those around him to ask why. He was passionate about learning, always curious. He had a way of inspiring his students to be passionate and curious.
There was a mantra for his high school Language Arts classroom: Never stop asking, “Why?”.
Chance’s love for learning was contagious, as was his love of life and his love for the Lord.
Chance had a great laugh.
Seven years ago Chance Pate was taken from us. He was on his way to teach summer school. He never made it to the school house.
It didn’t make sense.
It still doesn’t.
Losing Chance shook our world. As cliche as it may be, he was one of the good ones.
It’s hard to image that this world has gone 7 years without you.
Your spirit is unmatched by anyone I have ever met. I crave your heart for learning. I envy how you knew exactly what each student needed to extract his/her fullest potential. I admire how you expressed such a love for life.
The moment I got my first teaching job, I thought of you. I prayed that I would be a teacher like you, one who captures students’ minds and hearts. One of my first purchases at the teacher supply store was a big bag of green pens.
5 years later, I still encourage my students to ask “why?” to stay curious. I grade in green every chance I get.
Who you are has touched more people that we can count. Your students still live by your words. Teachers continue to be inspired by you and now bring your spirit to a new generation of students.
It has been 7 years without you; your life continues to bless this world.
We miss you.