Good morning to all writers, new and old, to the March Slice of Life Challenge! I will be perusing the Two Teachers site soon, looking for new faces and connecting with old “friends” that have been here much longer than I. As we start, this mirrors my own school right now, because I know there will be people retiring from the profession, taking with them the experiences and relationships of many decades of education. In my own school, there are several teachers, teachers who became friends, who are taking with them many years of being role models to students and teachers alike. Don’t be strangers here. You have much to give in your retirement years for us still battling in the trenches of education. Heck, tell us what’s the best wine at 11:00 AM on a Tuesday! πŸ™‚

#tellusgoodthingsplease

Anyway, if this is your first time reading my blog, welcome! My 30 followers will tell you that I’m a bit of a curmudgeon (possibly my favorite “clean” word of all time), but I truly love what I do for students. Many will question why I’m always in a good mood, and it is because I get to come and teach great kids. Now, that’s not to say they don’t drive me bonkers, but that’s a different post!

Today, I love to trot out the “I am” format. So, without further ado, I am…..

  • I am ready! In the past, I’ve felt a little disorganized or surprised that March has rolled around! Not today. While I don’t have a real good list of topics, this just signals spring. It signals a time of renewal and rejuvination (at least for me!). Can that ever be bad?

#Ithinknot

  • I am from Iowa! Iowa, a place where education used to be the pillar of our state, and where many great things started. I love living here, raising my family here, and teaching here, but I cannot see myself staying here forever, which is sad. My state is failing many people right now and it’s sad to watch the great things that used to be torn down, with barriers and gates put in their place.

#sadface

  • I am political! It will creep into this blog from time to time, but for the most part, I will try to keep that out of here. My favorite past time as of late, poking our state majority party leaders on Twitter with questions about “why”. They don’t ever respond, which is a bit sad. Ok, not really, because they never respond, however, it keeps the conversation going, and that’s the whole point. I tell my students that my job isn’t to tell them how to think, it is to get them TO think. If they are thinking about an issue, do their research, and wind up on the opposite side of an issue than I, it’s ok. They were thinking, and that’s mission accomplished in my book!

#workinghardtomakethinkers

  • I am nervous! I’m nervous for my daughters, one who graduated last December, and who is not working for John Deere, the other as Iowa State as a junior. I’m nervous for them because they will have to deal with the social justice issues we are ignoring right now. My youngest is going into a field where they don’t always few social justice in a positive light, so I’m nervous her beliefs will lead to issues down the road. However, I’m proud they both are strong young adults who won’t shy away from doing the right thing, even if it is uncomfortable.
  • I am nervous Part 2! I am nervous for my wife and I, at the tail end of our career and seeing education underfunded to a way where more and more schools will be forced to combine or close. The school is the hub of a small town and if you take that away, the life blood of the community starts to dry up.

#youcanbenervousjustdonotstop

  • I am many titles to many people! I am a husband to Melissa, a father to Faith and Gabrielle, a brother to Patrick, and a son to Mike and Sandy. I am a sixth grade teacher and coach (basketball is the best, fight me!), an owner of cats, dogs, and chickens. I am at a place in my life where I know many things, but feel more and more clueless about life each day. I am a 14 year old boy in the body of someone much older that 14, and that’s ok. I am a lover of music, books, warm tea on cold nights, cold beer on warm nights, gardening, running (slowly and with much exertion), biking, camping, and dreaming about what could be.
  • But most of all, I am excited! I am excited for this challenge! I am excited for the first year slicers out there! We were all in your shoes at one point or another, so please reach out if you have questions. I am excited to learn new things, new passions, or just new life events we’ve not heard of before (yes, Anna, I will talk about Alaska!).

So, curmudgeonly writing aside, thank you for stopping by and reading! I hope this leaves you with a sense of me and I hope that you come back!

My 30 followers would appreciate some company! πŸ™‚

#whateverdude