Monday, April 15, 2013


A current student is doing a 20% project with a focus on demonstrating how life as a teenager has changed over the years.  As we chatted about her project, she mentioned she wanted to interview her brother as a sort of in between point; he graduated high school in 2009.  I offered to put out some feelers to former students to help her.

They responded quickly and enthusiastically, but it touched my heart when one former student responded, "I still remember thinking differently about visitors after you played that song in class about them being 'everyday people like you and me.'  My activism started right there.  Thank you!"

Wow!  Now, I don't remember the moment that had such an impact on her, I don't recall the song to which she recalls me sharing (I really wonder if it was in fact my teaching partner!).  But, even if she's mis-remembering and I didn't do this, I apparently DID do something right that she would attribute something having such an impact on her to me.  (A quick Google turns up this lyric as a Rage Against the Machine song I *do* remember having shared with them.)

This made me feel so incredible, but of course, my self-deprecation mosquito in the ear has me wondering if that was the enthusiasm of my youth, and if my greatest days of having a real impact are behind me.  And that mosquito is probably at least a little bit right.  BUT, my tired old fogey self keeps trying to be better (even if it rocks the boat and/or isn't liked so much), keeps trying to be innovative, relevant, and helping students gain the skills they will need moving forward.  I just read a post that reflects that others have these same mosquitoes in their ears; ideas that particularly resonate with me
I want to be different in a system of standardization. I want to push learning ahead of achievement. I want to prove that relationships and humility work better than behaviorist systems. I want to be different in the midst of the mainstream.
                                                              -John Spencer, "Please Become a Teacher"

"Different in the midst of the mainstream."  Raging against the machine.  Hey, maybe that's the goal.  To be my natural, trouble-making self.  Eek.


  1. Christina,

    I love the imagery of the self-deprecation mosquito. I'm new to your blog, and that line alone will bring me back for another look.

    Your best days are not behind you. I'm pretty sure that teachers whose best days are past feel like they've finally arrived. Learning is a messy process, so "arrival" means the process is over and the learning is done. The title of your blog says you're still very much engaged in the process.

    Happy learning,


  2. Thanks for your kind comments, Scott!


Thanks for learning along with me!