From Peter Greene’s CURMUDGUCATION
It’s something that every teacher can do for all teachers. Get out into the community
I’ve heard the speech from fellow teachers– “When I walk out of here at the end of the day, I don’t want to see any students again until I walk back into school tomorrow.” I have known teachers who deliberately bought homes well outside the district limits so that their home life would never, ever intersect with their school life.
We can’t do that any more. We cannot hold ourselves separate from the communities where we serve.
I teach in a small town, so I know plenty of teachers who stay active and connected. they sing in church choirs. The coach little league. They paint houses in the summer. They work with the Humane Society. One teacher in my building was the town mayor for years. Me? I play in a town band, write for the local newspaper, and stay involved in local community theater (right now I’m directing a production of Chicago– stop by if you’re in the neighborhood in three or four weeks).
I shop at local businesses where my students and their parents and my former students all work. My students see me in the grocery store. Buying food!! In jeans!!!
Yes, there are down sides. When I was president of the striking local years ago, people knew right where to find me. And when my first marriage blew up and I became a divorced single male in a small town, there were plenty of entertaining stories told about me.
But teachers who are out in the community, who are visible and active, are teachers whose students can recognize them as actual human beings. Read more>>