In early 2016, I retired from teaching and consulting after working for 45 years, thirty as an elementary school teacher, and fifteen more as an educational consultant. I posted occasionally to The Nothing Expert, but I was not focused; I wrote about Everything and Nothing.
Perhaps I was afraid to write about education.
I’m not afraid anymore.
To warm up for my new focus on education, I wrote a list of my best days in schools. When I say best, I mean the days you relive over and over and sit there smiling to yourself as you remember your pride, your absolute wonderfulness!
Take a minute, dear Reader, and remember one of your own wonderful work days. Savor it. Pleasure in it. Ahh!
To continue my pre-writing I made another list of my worst days in schools. When I say worst I mean the days you want to bury and forget—the days when you felt alone, stupid, worthless, humiliated—the days when you got home from work and drank too much wine, slept too many hours, thought too many terrible thoughts, and were in a funk deeper than Hell.
Take another minute, dear Reader, and force yourself to relive one of those days.
Now, just to relieve your pain, pull up one of your silliest days—For me, I remember the kindergarten kid who walked the halls of our school smoking an empty applicator tube from a tampon, the way Groucho Marx (some of you won’t know him) smoked his cigar. Hilarious! The kind of stuff that makes lunch in the Teachers’ Room the best reality show there is.
After making my lists, I found my mission for The Nothing Expert’s new direction. I will write about education and my mission will be to:
- empathize, entertain, comfort, and occasionally offer an old-timer’s tip.
- write with seriousness, humor and compassion. I will frequently reread my lists of best, worst and silliest days and remember my feelings.
- reach you and assure you that “We all went through this, and we survived and thrived!”
- write as honestly as I can, grateful and mindful of the hand that feeds me my pension as well as the hand that has fought for my rights.
- connect the trends of today with the trends of when I started…so long ago.
A heads-up before we start—If you expect state-of-the-art info on technology, do not waste your time reading this blog. I miss my chalk, the smell of it, the feel of it, the potential of it.