Abby, who is a math teacher at Lincoln Senior High School in Des Moines, shared an effective message about parents’ roles in their children’s education on Facebook. Abby posted a picture of some school supplies and told the story of an encounter he’d had on that day. He stated he was feeling “jaded” while shopping at Walmart after two sets of parents reported to him in the Office Supplies Cheap.

“This is just ridiculous, I don’t recognize how these teachers think we are meant to get all of this stuff,” the mother and father said. “As they complained, they seemed to be oblivious to the reality that my cart was loaded with a category set of all of the supplies these people were buying … that ought to have been a fairly clear indication i was one of those greedy teachers these people were complaining about,” Michael wrote in the post.

Later inside the checkout line, a dad facing him brightened his day inside an unexpected way. The guy was buying school supplies with his daughter, and after paying, he considered Michael and handed him a $25 Walmart gift card. “You are a teacher right?” the dad asked. “I simply want to thanks for anything you do. I view your cart is full with supplies, and i also just wanted to help just as much as I will.”

Michael said he was touched by the heartwarming encounter and also struck through the contrast between that exchange and what he’d heard earlier through the other parents. He wrote regarding the different messages these parents were sending their kids:

“The kids who heard their parents complaining heard this message: ‘School is not important enough to pay for it, teachers are certainly not to be trusted and also have bad judgment, and learning fails to require investment.’

The kid who’s dad handed me the gift card heard, ‘School is important enough that we should give more than required to make sure it is successful, teachers should be respected and valued, and learning requires us passing it on everything we have.’”

Abby said he understands that funds are really tight for some families, who may have to struggle to buy kids school supplies. “However, being a parent, do your best to deliver the right message in your child,” he added. “The man [who] gave lbtlvz the gift card not only made my day, but I understand that his daughter will enter the classroom this year using a totally different perspective about her teacher and her education, and that is extremely powerful!”

Michael’s post clearly resonated with parents and educators, as it’s been shared almost 70,000 times. Though there’s a lot of debate surrounding school supplies ? particularly pertaining to costs and quantities ? many commenters thanked the teacher for your important reminder and perspective. Ultimately, youngsters are not oblivious towards the messages adults convey. And in terms of education, these messages can be crucial.