Tuesday, March 14, 2017

3/14/17 #sol17 Greg

My husband is a teacher. He teaches high school math at a small private school where he's also the department chair. And on Honor Council. And on the Long-Range Planning Committee. And the Varsity Golf Coach. So, as you can imagine, his days are full. He's teaching and lesson planning, mentoring and counseling, facilitating and attending meetings.

Greg is an amazing teacher. He helps kids who thought they would never understand math, say that they finally get it. He's gifted at explaining complicated concepts in multiple ways. I have never, in 15 years, heard him utter the words "That kid just doesn't get it." Instead he searches for new ways to frame it, or explain it, or illustrate it. Until it clicks. And it almost always does.

Then the man comes home. And before he can even take off his tie, our kids are on him. "Daddy!" they shout when they hear the garage door open. They want his help with homework, or to show him a trick they learned. Many nights, he makes dinner as I rush off to a meeting. Or, he coaches our kids' sports teams. Or he does private tutoring at the public library.
Greg and Justin on their way
to baseball practice

As soon as we finally get the kids to bed, do you know what my husband, the teacher, does? He puts his workout clothes on and does a 30 minute P-90 X video. Then do you know what he does?

He grades. Or lesson plans. Or makes screencasts. Or revisits his notes. Or returns emails. At the kitchen table. Until it's time to go to bed.

And while this might not be his schedule every night, it's his schedule most nights.

He is the hardest working person I know. If he's lucky, he gets 20 minutes by himself (I'm not counting the exercise time; that hardly seems like it should qualify!). His alone time usually involves hiding in the bathroom playing spider solitaire on his phone.

Nearly every other teacher I know works a similar schedule.

In my own work life, I teach teachers. In this role, I have spent six out of the last eight Saturdays at conferences, and workshops, and classes with teachers who take their own time to continue their professional development. Where in these schedules does Ohio Governor John Kasich imagine these teachers will have time for an internship? (If anything, Kasich should come intern at a school.)

Does Betsy DeVos understand how teachers spend their time? (She should; I tweet at her every time I'm with teachers...) As I watch teachers continue to be undermined in the media by our government officials, I seethe at the characterizations being put forth.

I know Greg's students, their parents and his colleagues appreciate him. I know that we, his family, appreciate him. I just want other people, the people who make choices about teachers and their lives, to appreciate him, and all educators, too.

PS: I know tons of people work really hard (my brother-in-law Joel being one of the other hardest working people I know). And I know lots of my friends' husbands work long hours too. We could all write similar blog posts. But this is my blog, so I get to brag on my husband. (And later I'll write one about how awesome it is that he gets to be the full-time parent for a month in the summer.)


  1. Teacher, husband, coach, and all around nice guy! :)

    I love this slice and hope that you show it to your husband at some point. We all need that little pump up, and I think he'd enjoy your take on what he does on a daily basis!

    Thank you for sharing with us! :)

  2. You should send this post to the 'letters to the editor' section of your newspaper - we need people to know these honest anecdotes. You obviously adore your husband - and know the truth about teaching! I love this line about him, "He's gifted at explaining complicated concepts in multiple ways." What a special teacher!

    1. I never even thought of that, Maureen! Thanks for the nudge!

  3. Ha - "But this is my blog..." Yes! ;-) You get to brag on your husband! He's wonderful - what a great tribute to him. Makes me tired just reading about what he does. Ha. And you!

  4. What a great man! Male role models who help students are always in need! Great slice - we always need to brag on our husbands!