Harold, William, Victor, and Me (Part 1)

This is a powerful blog post by Larry Cuban that is all too true. As teachers, we can only do as much as we can with the resources we have. We need to take care of ourselves before we can ever hope to help others. It is a stressful job, and it is all too easy to burn out. This is especially true if you are new to the profession.

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

I want to tell you about three high school students I have taught.

First, Harold. Lanky, always stylishly dressed and so clever, he drove me up one of my four walls. Harold was 19 and in the 11th grade. He had failed all of his subjects the year before he entered my U.S. history class. Yet he scored above national norms on college board exams.

Harold was never, and I mean, never on time to class, that is, when he chose to come to class. About five minutes after the bell, he would bang through the rear door of the room, clip-clop over to his seat. Passing a friend, he would lean over, hand cupped to his mouth and whisper something. Anyone in earshot would laugh uproariously. Harold had arrived. Another lesson interrupted.

Whenever the class got into meaty discussions with students interacting over ideas raised in the lesson, Harold…

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