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.

Check in often, or subscribe to get headlines fed to you! Oh, and the views expressed here are not those of anyone but me.  And anyone who happens to share the same views, I guess.

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

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Skip Intro

Seattle, WA


Ya know those websites with the fancy Flash animation sequences before you get to the main homepage or menu of the site?  And you know how they usually have a little button you can click that says “Skip Intro”?  I wonder where you can get those little buttons.


Susan, the assistant dean at the college of education at Seattle University, was introducing me before my talk last night, and decided to hit the “skip intro” button.  I almost hugged her right then and there.


It’s not that the intro is that bad, it’s just that I’ve heard it probably close to fifty times.  It details my life journey, the basics of my educational philosophy, and what my class might look like on a given day.  Susan asked if she was supposed to read the whole thing.  I told she didn’t have read any of it.  It was her introduction.


So she told everyone that the details were available up front afterwards, or that they could find them online later.  Instead, she told them something more meaningful, something she noticed when she first met me two hours before.


“I asked him if he missed the classroom and the kids,” she told the audience.  “And then his face lit up, and he said ‘Yeah, but I stopped by to see them last week!’  That look told me more about his teaching than any bio statement ever could.  This guy is a teacher!”


Maybe we ought to just send a picture of that face instead of the bio from now on.


[editor's note: I figured out which face it was...]


  1. Crap. How awesome is THAT??!! I wonder if I've ever had that face... I think I need to get out of the military.

  2. May we all have that face for whatever it is we are called to do. I must admit, that at many moments, I don't...but am really reflecting on what I would be so excited to be doing.

    So, I am looking into getting another master's degree - in counseling.

    You've helped inspire me to make sure I am not just working - but working at something I love.

    Thanks Mike!!

  3. Hey Mike ("W" to the -eber here)... you're looking good in your fancy suit in that CNN clip! Thanks for representing, man. I loved what you said about incorporating the arts in teaching and about the importance of parent involvement.


Feel free to question, disagree, challenge, or make suggestions! I'm a big boy. I can take it.