June 28, 2013

"Just A Teacher"

Someone online has that "I'm just a teacher" feeling.

Reminds me of a something that happened to me early in my teaching career.

I was in a big beautiful conference hall on the campus of the University of Georgia in the early 2000s listening to a talk given by Gloria Ladson-Billings, author of The Dreamkeepers and Crossing Over to Canaan.

My wife was a graduate student there and I had only been teaching a year or two.  After the talk I went down to the little gathering around her to stand and wait and ask her to sign my copies of her books.  She was being chatted up by some pretty impressive folks, introducing themselves as "doctor thus and so" and "research fellow this" and "doctoral candidate that" when she turned to me and began to sign my books.  "And you are?" she politely asked.  "Oh, I'm just a teacher."

She snapped her head around and gave me such a look.  Everyone was quiet.  "Don't ever say that," she said.  "Don't ever say you are just  a teacher."

Okay, I won't!  I promise!