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“The best part-time job I ever had…”

When I was a very new teacher, some greats were on their way out the door. I was fortunate enough to get to learn with a few of them (here’s looking at you, Tulsey, LoVecchio, Williams, both Coddingtons, and Whiting) and perhaps even luckier to get to teach with an ever-diminishing number of this generation (here’a also looking at you, Gwinno, Markham, Anderson, Wright, and Rogers). At the end of my first year, one of these Greats among Teachers, Steve Griffin, a beloved sixth grade science teacher at my first district, accepted a leadership position in a nearby district. We chided him for turning to the “dark side” of administration, lovingly knowing that our loss was most certainly their gain. I stopped him to congratulate him on his promotion, and he met me with the same mischievousness that his students adored and said that I would enjoy my career as a teacher. “It’s the best part-time job I ever had,” he said as we parted.

Ten years later, I know why his eyes twinkled when he uttered that punchline. Of course, he was referring to the notorious summers off that teachers are afforded. There’a an old teacher-joke…

Q: What’re your 3 favorite things about teaching?
A: June, July, and August!

In the light of some quite negative press that local teachers have both been subjected to and brought upon themselves (sow’s ear?), and responding to comments by several colleagues and a student that I should take my own medicine and write reflectively more often, I wanted to capture the June, July, and August of this teacher.

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