Thursday, August 27, 2015

29 Going On 30

     This September marks the start of my 30th year teaching.  What was happening 29 years ago, September 1986?

President Ronald Reagan, midway through his second term, appointed Trenton, New Jersey native Antonin Scalia to the United States Supreme Court.   He is now the court's longest serving justice.

The Oprah Winfrey Show made its national television debut.

"Crocodile" Dundee was released.  It was the second highest grossing film of the year, right behind Top Gun.

Ivan Lendl...

...and Martina Navratilova were U.S. Open champions.

Stuck with You, the first single released from Fore!, topped the Billboard 100 for three weeks.

     I was all of 25 years old.  Here are some things my school didn't have:



Smart Boards


Document cameras

Lockdown drills

High-stakes standardized tests

Here are some things my school did have:

A ditto machine

Filmstrip projectors

Opaque projectors

A card catalog in the library

Cursive writing

A pay phone in the hallway

   1 graduate degree, 3 positions, 5 classrooms, 5 superintendents, 4 principals.  Lots has changed.  But the most important thing hasn't: Every September the kids still show up at the door.  How to sum it all up?  I'll leave it to R. Chanina:

     I have learned much from my teachers.  I have learned more from my colleagues than from my teachers.  But I have learned more from my students than from them all.  (BT, Taanit 7a)

Have a great 2015-2016 school year!


  1. Ah, those Banda machines, with their faint alcohol-smelling writing!

    Have a great start to the year Joe!

    1. Thanks Simon! I can still smell it! And the blue ink that got on my fingers and then all over my shirt.

  2. For reasons I can't fully explain, this piece really caught me tonight. It seems reflective and hopeful and excited all at the same time. As I head back to prep for this year on Monday, the feelings here are exactly mine.

    1. Thanks for the comment Jenny. I hope you have a wonderful school year, filled with growth, adventure, and fun!