I’m not a politician. I’m a teacher.

I teach History and Geography and Psychology.

I teach how to make evidence based claims and how to raise your hand when you want to speak.

I teach teenagers to keep their hands to themselves for 90 minute increments.

I teach please’s and thank you’s and eye contact.

I teach respect.

I teach Anakaren to put her phone away every single day.

I teach objectives and "Student Learning Outcomes."

I teach assembly line simulations and Great Depression photography.

I teach Hitler and I teach MLK.

I teach picking up your trash and recycling.

I teach could you please stop taking Snapchats while I’m talking.

I teach Mexicans, Muslims, and boys with raging hormones.

I teach complete sentences.

I teach problem solving and critical thinking.

I teach in French occasionally and with a Scottish accent when I need your attention.

I teach while eating bagels and sometimes give kids coffee from the teacher’s lounge.

I teach that the human brain can do amazing things.


I teach to wonder.

I teach to ask questions.

I teach standardized testing.

I teach you are more than a score.

I teach to handle things with care.

I teach while accidentally bleaching the carpet.

I teach watch out for that wad of gum on the floor, Jose.

I teach treating women with respect.

I teach treating men with respect.

I teach that you can never have too many pencils in your back pocket.

I teach to please remember your pencil because I am spending too much money on pencils.

I teach that I will always give you a pencil.

I teach Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and what feels like twice on Fridays.

I teach standing on top of a chair when I am excited or when I need you to hear when this assignment is due.

I teach to capitalize and empathize.

I teach okay Jason you can somersault across the floor just this one time.

I teach kindness and I teach smiles.

I teach I'll wait til' it's quiet.

I teach no seriously I'll wait.

I teach to tired, hungry, and fidgety.

I teach that you can always come to me when your dad kicks you out of the house again.

I teach laughter and bad history puns.

I teach with coffee and more coffee.

I teach no you may not change my seating chart.

I teach it’s okay if you want to cry.

I teach shake my hand at the door.

I teach on good days and on bad days.

I teach Hurricanes and political cartoons.

I teach of course you can get make-up work.

I teach Vietnam and protest posters.

I teach kids who push my buttons and kids who make me want to pull my hair out.

I teach them that I love them even when they drive me crazy.

I teach all of these things and more.

But what I don’t teach is how to ask your teacher what to do.

Not what to do for a question on a paper or to write with a pencil.

But what to do if Mr. Trump takes my mom away.

I don’t teach Miss someone told me today to go back to where I came from.

I don’t teach hate and bigotry and fear.

I teach listen to me my children I love you more than you will ever know and I will fight for your right to be in this classroom until my last dying breath.

I teach even on days like today when it feels like every atom in my body is screaming.

I teach for them.

Because America has just taught them that this “land of the free” might not be as free as we thought it was.