I remember when I was a Freshman at OCS and heard about Mr. Hough. He was a hard teacher, but everyone loved him. Everyone. I never saw him for the 3 years leading up to 12th grade, but like twice. He was a mystery to all of us who weren’t Seniors. Although every year there was a rumor that this would be his last year at OCS. I hoped and prayed that it was always false so that I could have him as my teacher. So you can imagine my excitement last August when I finally got to have THE Ted Hough in Bible and English.
First day of our Senior year… We’re confident and rowdy… you know the typical Senior attitude. But, when Mr. Hough walked into my 2nd hour Bible and 4th hour English classes it went silent in that room. He tends to stroll into class a few minutes past the bell and that’s just what he did on that day. We may have been the top dogs, but we acted like nervous Freshmen when he walked in. The thing about Mr. Hough is, he’s very tough when it comes to papers and assignments, but he is such a great lecturer and person outside of class that everyone respects him. He quietly commands your attention and respect.
Mr. Hough shared his life with us like we were his peers, not his students. Very early in the year his father was ailing and he had warned us that he may have to leave during class one day if his father were to pass. Well, in my Bible class one day Mrs. Carpenter came and knocked on the door and we all knew what had happened. Literally every girl (and some guys) in our class got teary and many even cried as soon as we heard the knock. We had had Mr. Hough in class for maybe one month to a month and a half, but yet we felt so close to him. His pain was ours in that moment.
Mr. Hough also never strayed from controversy. He wanted to look at what the Bible had to say about end times, sex, the family, and dating. He brought in speakers so that we may not only get his interpretations, but others. Instead of shoving his views on us, he gave us another side so that we may make our own assumptions. He wanted us to take control of our faiths. But, he never left any question as to what the Bible said on each topic. Though he talked to us, he also allowed us to talk. We had a panel about every Friday during the 2nd semester where he would take 4 of us and ask us tough questions about divorce, dating, abuse, and sex. He wanted to hear our struggles and beliefs. To me, that is very unique and shows how much he cares about us as people. Lucky me got to be on the first panel, which was sex.
Mr. Hough is a man of God Almighty. He is faithful and steadfast, though he admits his weaknesses. He wears the struggles of life like the rest of us, but he is proof that it is no reason to not praise God’s goodness and control. I am normally very intimidated by teachers, but I love how he took the time to smile and say hello or even stop for a conversation with me during break. He was witty and funny and made my walls of intimidation fall down. He is possibly the most genuine person I’ve ever met. He just let The Lord shine through him. Plus, he prays for every student that asks him to at the end of the year, for the rest of his life. Amazing.
So, new OCS Seniors… I hope you enjoy his class. The tests are brutally hard, the papers long, but the wisdom vast. Drink in every word he says. I would have stayed in high school longer had I got to have Mr. Hough some more. All the rumors about his class are true, believe me, I’ve lived it. Oh, and for your own sake… study, study, study and don’t procrastinate on papers, especially the “Big Paper”. He’s the best teacher I have ever had and I am so thankful that The Lord placed me in a position to have Mr. Hough. He has taught me so much and I am going to miss him terribly. So enjoy his class for me.
Mr. Hough, thank you for everything.
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.