Thoughts, links & ideas from the 2008 National Teacher of the Year

Each time I've taken off in a plane since May (which is a lot), I've been writing in my journal, then adding these journal entries on this blog.

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(Note: the blue posted dates are actually the dates I wrote the journal entries, not when I posted them online.)

Monday, September 8, 2008

First Class

Washington, DC


I’m sitting up front in First Class!  Not sure how that happened, but here I am.  I must have surpassed a major milestone in the frequent flyers program or something.


So I did what I think you’re supposed to do in first class: read the Wall Street Journal and try not to make eye contact with the steerage filing toward the back of the plane (of which I was a part yesterday, and will be again this afternoon.)  I think I played it off, but I didn’t have much interest in what I was reading.  I’m not sure too many people do.


At some of the district events I’ve been to this year, it was curious that oftentimes the administration and teachers keep their distance from each other.  At one event, I was sequestered with the school board, mayor, and other dignitaries (in a nice room with snacks!) and we were then led in at the last moment to sit in the front row as the program started.  I tried to downplay it in my mind, but I was wearing a tie, so it was hard.


Why the separation?  Is it just human nature?  Adult versions of middle school cliques?  An insidious plot by the proletariat to remain in power?  Probably not, but whatever the cause, the divisions need to dissolve.  They only tend to breed mistrust and misunderstanding.  We need to sample each others’ worlds and gain an appreciation of what the other is dealing with.


My time here as Teacher of the Year is limited, and so is my time in first class.  I’ll enjoy it while I can, and learn about it, too.  But soon I’ll be back in my class, in the coach cabin with the rest of the travelers, where I belong.  But I’ll be there with a new understanding.


Now you must excuse me, I need to finish up my complimentary Bar de Granola and glass of chardonnay.  Then it’s off to the executive washroom to see if the quarters are as cramped as I’m used to in the back of the bus.


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