About this time of year parents and kids start asking the same question: “who’s your teacher this year?” For middle and high school students, this question has as many answers as they have classes. Now, the easiest way to answer this, unsurprisingly also the most common, is with a name. I got Jones and Jaffey and Johnson. I’d like to take a different tact: to look at who these teachers are.

I’m a teacher, but I’m more than that: I’m a parent, a cyclist, a baseball fan, a blogger, a juggler and more.

I’ve worked with some amazing teachers over the years. These teachers were dedicated, caring, charismatic and brilliant. The same traits that made them great teachers made them great elsewhere. In fact, the best teachers are the ones who are excel at teaching physics or poetry, they are the ones who excel at making connections and getting kids excited about their own learning. This learning has been about literature, bicycles, gardening, woodworking, photography and so much more.

Additionally, I hope that by sharing who they are as people, their interests, pursuits, passion projects–they can connect more meaningfully with students and make is safe for them to share who they are. Just as we teachers are parents, friends, knitters and more, so too are our students sons, daughters, athletes, actors, Rubik’s Cube masters…

…I hope that by sharing who they are as people, their interests, pursuits, passion projects–they can connect more meaningfully with students and make is safe for them to share who they are.

So for 2016-17, I hope students can say “My teacher is a(n)…”

polyglot

poet

bike mechanic

bartender

beta tester

actor

bouncer

car mechanic

novelist

dancer

activist

Olympian

triathlete

marathoner

cyclist

mountain biker

patent holder

cancer survivor

parent

grandparent

spouse

aunt/uncle

minister

magician

painter

programmer

hall-of-famer

professional athlete

sommelier

paramedic

researcher

carpenter

interpreter

volunteer

architect

artisan

blogger

baker

national champion

counsellor

photographer

coach

juggler

organist

organ donor

community organizer

furniture maker

jazz musician

yoga instructor

gardener

farmer

Republican

Democrat

Populist

Libertarian

Christian

Jew

Muslim

Buddhist

Hindi

Deadhead

atheist

agnostic

Xaverian  brother

Jesuit Priest

referee

voice actor

real estate agent

journalist

Marine

college professor

knitter

needlepointer

sculptor

hiker

first-generation college grad

single-parent

widower

divorcée

waiter

policy wonk

skier

skydiver

golfer

bowler

angler

Cloud 1 (3)

 

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