When I first got selected as National Teacher, my friend and colleague, Dannie, was laughing pretty hard. “They’re going to make a movie out of you!” she chided. She was referring to The Ron Clark Story, which I had never heard of. (Incidentally, I hadn’t heard of Teacher of the Year, either.) Of course, he was the Disney Teacher of the Year, so that’s a little different story.
Not long after this, Jen told me that the previous National Teacher from Oregon (John Ensworth, 1973) now has an elementary school named after him. “There are going to middle school kids running around in ‘Geisen Middle School’ gym shorts!” I really hope not.
Others informed me (with much more seriousness) that I would never go back to teaching. “They never do.” Actually, this isn’t very accurate, and I, too, plan to pick up where I left off in my same classroom. There are too many things I still want to do. Plus, middle school kids are rad.
But there’s one common prediction that I haven’t decided on yet: writing a book.
I go back and forth. There’s a part of me that thinks: “the last thing we need is another book about education.” This is the same part of me that thinks: “why would anyone pay me to speak at an educational conference?”
But a huge number of people have asked me about it, a number of people have nudged me in that direction, and there has been enough interest in what I have to share that now I’m thinking a bit more about it.
It would be tremendously time consuming, but I think I would enjoy the process. I like to create stuff, and this would be a new challenge. I have no idea if I would make money, or if it’s a bit like coaching: thousands of hours for hundreds of dollars. Plus, I've never aspired to become a motivational speaker, especially one who is peddling a book. What have I become?!
On the other hand, I have a lot of good material, both written and visual, that already could form the backbone of the book. Hmmm. Decisions, decisions…