If you really knew me as a teacher…

If you really knew me you would be able to pull away my skin, peek around my ribs, and measure the beat of my heart.

You would find that pumping out is deep red passion for loving, helping, inspiring and motivating kids. That passion is thick and tireless, constantly flowing through my veins, filling my body with strength to fight an uncontrollable disease. Something worse than ebola or cancer.

Kids walk in my room daily filled with



dangerous choices,


And although I am equipped with all the English knowledge I need, it is no cure, not even a bandaid for the pandemic that is sweeping our schools.

If you really knew me you would know that although I love reading and writing, I don’t teach just because I have an adoration for the written word.

If you open me up and drive your scalpel deep into my soul you’ll find static nerves that respond in deep empathy to the way students are constantly lost in the system.

The way kids feel like a number, like a waste of space.

Because my nerves send the signal to my brain that causes me to scream out,

“Something needs to be done!”

and the pain causes my hands to reach out in an attempt to encircle the hurting.

If you really knew me, you would be able to shine a light into my eyes and see beyond my cornea. There you would discover a blindness to grades or protocol or politics. You would discover that my brain is sending the same signal to my eyes that my nerves sent to my brain. And my brain is telling my eyes only to see the way I want you to see me.

So, I reach out, pull away your skin, peek around your ribs, and measure the beat of your heart.

        If you really knew me, you would know that is how I teach.

*I wrote this piece as a model for a writing assignment my students were working on in class. But it became much more than that – and sharing this with them just reinforced all the passionate feelings I have about the crazy monkeys I teach. And how I love those crazy monkeys.