Showing posts from May, 2019

On The Unbroken Chain Of Teachers

I learned today that one of my former students has been hired to teach at a high school where I once briefly taught as well. I had gladly given her encouragement and a reference, and so she made a point of letting me know how excited she was. She will now be able to help a new class full of young people make their way into adult life, just as she had been helped many years ago in another classroom in another school, just as I had been helped. I sometimes marvel that it takes a teacher to make a teacher. Every teacher learned how to learn and learned how to teach because of their own teachers, and so there is an unbroken chain all the way back to our beginnings, all the way back to the first teachers. She’s not the first of my students to decide to take this on, but it occurs to me that she might turn out to be the last. My heart is so full for her, and for the young people she will meet as soon as this summer is over. She’s smart, and savvy, and eager, and she has the courage and patie

The Last Commencement

Commencement tonight for three combined charter schools: Coronado High School, Island Park High School, and North Nicholas High School. I was at the first commencement exercises each of these schools ever had, since I was the School District’s charter school liaison when each of them came into being. Then they were novel, but now they’ve been around long enough to have traditions. I’ll be wearing my academic regalia for the last time: I have a basic doctoral gown that’s pretty worn out and held together mostly with safety pins and good intentions. I’ve got a hood, tam, and tassel that have survived dozens and dozens of ceremonies. I still wear an honor cord from Cypress Lake High School, where decades ago I was both an honors graduate. Later, I was a senior class co-sponsor there with graduation experts like Connie Maher and Jean Campbell. They taught me how to wear all these symbols of the ancient art of teaching. The first time I wore my high school regalia, I was thrilled and excite

Waiting Room Television: The Day It Was Out Of Order

So I’m sitting here in a car dealership service center waiting room. It's a first-class operation here: good coffee, comfy seating, charge ports all over the place.   There are five of us, all men, all here by ourselves, all middle-aged or better.   We are all savoring the peace and quiet in our own way. Most of us are fiddling with our phones, checking email and Facebook and such, enjoying the complimentary WiFi. One of us is reading a newspaper, occasionally making a cheerful flourish out of turning to the next page. One of us is humming quietly, but I can’t make out the melody. One of us — likely the oldest of us, trim and well-manicured, wearing a cap with a Navy ship registry embroidered on it — is typing with gusto on an expensive-looking laptop. He is pounding out what sounds like it might be about 60 wpm and he rarely slows down. He only pauses to take another sip of coffee, just a sip, then he gets right back to full speed. Some piteous soul out there is getting a piece of