This is for the teachers who freeze through false alarm winter fire drills after giving your jackets, gloves, and sometimes sweaters and dress shirts to their underdressed students; it’s for the teacher who stays at school until 6:30 PM because she knows that Alicia’s parents’ heat got turned off on Tuesday, and every minute she stays late talking to Alicia about Pokemon is a minute that Alicia is still warm. This blog is dedicated to every teacher who refers to his students as “my kids” with the deep and protective pride usually reserved for parenthood.
This blog is for the educators who know the names of all 8 boyfriends that Sasha had during her freshman year, in the correct order, and why they broke up, even though Sasha never mentioned dating to her parents once. It’s for the teacher who is fifteen years deep into his career, who hears 300 complaints to every one compliment from students, parents, and administrators even though he donates $1,000 and 150 hours to the school play every single year, before being told by his relatives that he is overpaid, and doesn’t deserve summers off. It is dedicated to the teacher who willingly risked lawsuits, slander, and her entire career to drive her male student home, because she couldn’t bear to drive past him when she saw him walking in a freezing rainstorm without a jacket.
It’s for every teacher who has been mocked because those who can’t, teach, and those who have never tried to teach a group of thirteen year olds, mock. It’s for the teacher who calmly got punched 100 times while standing between two fighting students, because in the mind of a teacher, it’s better to limp home with a few bruises than to let a child get hurt.
Most importantly, this blog is dedicated to my lovely wife, my parents and my ‘work family’ of teacher-friends, the best teachers and role models in the known universe. Thanks for all the help, feedback, and support through this process.
So much of the writing published about education is published by people who don't teach. I figured it was time for a teacher to write about teaching. I've been proud to teach 8th-grade ELA in Dunkirk City Schools since 2007, and to serve at Fredonia State University as an adjunct professor, teaching educational technology since 2017.