Toast to our Teachers, especially those who serve as Mentors


Toast to our Teachers on National Teachers Day.

Editor’s note: Many thanks to those teachers who go beyond the call of duty for your students–You know who you area. One of the biggest complaints I hear from teachers who call me often weekly (feel free to call my cell 615-525-3198) is the lack of discipline within our schools today. During my 12 year tenure in school as a student the teachers and principals didn’t put up with it. That’s probably why I received my share of paddling and discipline on a monthly basis.

Recently I attended the funeral of one of my teachers, Mr. Julian Bailey.

Former Smyrna Middle School and Thurman Francis teacher and Sewart Air Force Veteran Mr. Julian Bailey

Mr. Bailey was a Christian and faithful member of Living Springs Baptist Church, and a US Air Force veteran and stationed at Sewart Air Force Base, and also a retired teacher having taught at Smyrna Middle School and Thurman Francis.

Mr. Bailey had me do 500 write-offs while in the 9th grade. When I would see him at Church I would complain of the carpal-tunnel due to those 500 write-offs.

Sadly, the subject of corporal punishment has become very controversial. Our student’s education suffer from just a few who cannot follow the rules. Yes students today face challenges that you and I may not have faced when we were young, but students need and respect discipline.

This year I ran a piece of legislation that would fund allow more social workers in our school systems across our state. While presenting the legislation I shared that my favorite teachers were those who instilled discipline in me.

Former Smyrna High School principal Mr.Robert Raikes and Mike Sparks.

Mr. Raikes, my former Smyrna High School principal paddled me of a few occasions, but what I respected the most was the time he was walking down the hall and put his arm around my shoulder and said, “Mike, I’ve always heard your a very polite young man. Keep it up.”
If your a teacher or principal I would appreciate your feedback on the subject of discipline and your thoughts of how we can improve our classrooms. or my office 615-741-6829.

Teachers Appreciation Week -Thank you!

Many thanks to our teachers who touch, influence and serve as mentors to these young lives on a daily basis.


According to NationalToday. com, National Teacher Day is observed on the first Tuesday of the first full week of May (May 5) and we’re more than ready to show our appreciation to those who have taught us. Everyone has had that favorite teacher that has helped inspire them. This day meant to honor them was actually made by a teacher. None other than First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt herself.

First lady Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), the U.S. president from 1933 to 1945, was a leader in her own right and involved in numerous humanitarian causes throughout her life.

Eleanor Roosevelt was more than Franklin D. Roosevelt’s wife, she has a history of civic duty and was an advocate for fellow teachers. Her love for education began at a young age when she was privately tutored and encouraged by her aunt Anna “Barnie” Roosevelt. No matter how high she rose on the social ladder, she never forgot where she came from.

History of National Teacher DayIn 1953, Eleanor Roosevelt stood up to Congress in hopes of convincing them that teachers needed a day to be recognized for all that they do. Until that point, the celebration of the day wasn’t clear. It’s believed that some schools in certain states were already observing the day, but there wasn’t a clear consensus and she wanted to make it official. The National Education Association (NEA) in partnership with the Kansas State and Indiana State Boards of Education, lobbied Congress in order for the day to be recognized. Despite her best efforts, the first National Teacher Day didn’t become an official national day until 1980. At its inception, National Teacher Day was celebrated on March 7 until 1984 when it was moved to May. Thanks to the assistance of the National PTA, it evolved into Teacher Appreciation Week, giving teachers more time to bask in appreciation. A year later, the NEA  established that the first Tuesday of the week would be National Teacher Appreciation Day.Today, the official national day celebrates teachers by gift-giving and the showering of accolades from students and parents alike. The hashtags #TeacherAppreciationDay and #NationalTeachersDay are used on social media to show teachers making a difference to the world at large.