Teacher Shares How Custodian Changed Her Perception Of A Brilliant Mind

Who can judge a book by its cover better than a teacher, they can accurately tell which of their students are marked out for greatness just by observing them.

Jamie Combs of Lexington, Kentucky, has a degree in education, but he learned life’s greatest lessons from a custodian, and she is sharing what she learned to remind everyone to choose kindness over judgment.


Life’s lesson learned

The fourth-grade teacher had recently joined a new school when she met a custodian and began chatting with him. He asked her if any of her students struggled with spelling before he showed her a brilliant solution.

“He then wrote numbers and letters on the board as they appear on a phone,” Jamie recalled. “Next, he wrote 262 and asked me if I can tell him what word that would be. I correctly guessed ‘Bob.’ He said this was the way that has always helped him remember how to spell words and that this would be a fun game for kids.”

Jamie was so impressed by him that she ask him: “Why are you a custodian and not a teacher?” His answer touched her heart. He said “

“Actually, there are a lot of teachers in my family, but I’m dyslexic so I’ve always been told I’m too dumb for it, but I love being a custodian and I take a lot of pride in what I do.”

He went on telling her, “When a teacher comes into their classroom, they can tell if it’s been cleaned. When I scrub a toilet, with these kids here, I never know if I am cleaning for a future president or a surgeon who will operate on me someday. Kids may not notice it, but the school may be the cleanest place they go all day.”


Stunned, Jamie decided to share his incredible perspective on Facebook, inspiring thousands of strangers around the world. “I left that conversation feeling like he has made me a better teacher today and what a shame it is that anyone ever made him feel dumb,” she added. “I hope this post reminds us all that we can learn from each other, college degrees are not the only measure of brilliance, and you should never judge a book by its cover. Dyslexic people have brilliant minds, too!”


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