On Being Everyone's Teacher

Starting in 1978 (I think) and ending in 2002, I was one of two, sometimes three, English teachers at our high school. That meant every student capable of sitting in a desk for fifty minutes had at least one class from me. For most it was sophomore English and speech.
Years later, the results of my work are on display on Facebook, Twitter, etc., and it's pretty interesting. I get to keep track of where everyone lives, whom they marry (or don't), how their kids are growing, and how they feel about life in general.
Mostly, I love it. I get comments sometimes from those who aren't sure of their English skills and worry that I will correct their posts. (Not a chance, unless you ask me to.) I get memories of the "good old days," often funny incidents but sometimes messages of thanks for what I hope was respect for all my students. I get a few political arguments, though I try to keep out of the worst of that quagmire. (The funniest/saddest was from a student who was so lazy in high school he wouldn't pick up a book, much less read one. Before the election he sent me a list of articles I should read because I apparently hadn't digested the "correct" information on current affairs.)
The best thing about social media is seeing my former students' successes. Whether it's those children they keep posting photos of every
day; their announcement of a degree, new job, promotion, business, etc.; or the pics of their recent trip to Grand Canyon or Paris or the Halibut Festival, I love seeing them out there doing stuff.

Keep those posts coming, people. When you were everyone's teacher for almost three decades, there's a lot to catch up on.


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