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 PUT YOUR NAME ON YOUR GOD DAMN PAPER.
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.