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So You Want to Be a High School Teacher?

I’m Your Favorite High School Teacher? Gosh, Thanks

Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Public Education

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

I’m your favorite high school teacher? Gosh, thanks.

I’ll hang this note on the wall behind my desk, next to the Covid protocol checklist. That way I’ll always remember it was your fault that my mother died because you wouldn’t wear your mask over your nose. I spent two weeks in the hospital too, but it was all worth it because I’m your favorite teacher.

Or maybe I’ll hang this note next to the active shooter protocol? Remember how funny it was when you played Shooter by Lil’ Wayne on your cell phone during the lockdown in March? Sure, you could’ve gotten all of us killed, but now I know I made a difference in your life, so who cares?

I’m being evicted because the district froze our salaries in 2019. I’m under investigation for teaching critical race theory because we use A Raisin in the Sun in 10th grade English. I don’t have a single meaningful adult relationship because I work 85 hours a week. None of that matters though because, as you wrote in your note, I’m lit.

Oh, by the way, I have a disciplinary meeting with the principal next week because she walked by my classroom when you were playing “how loud can I say the F-word” with Darryl. But it’s all good because, instead of using the period to finish revising your final essay, you wrote this note to me.

Oh, and my last name is spelled with two “N’s.” But whatever.

— Your 10th Grade English Teacher

Samuel Jaye Tanner is a professor in the Penn State system, a writer of some (mostly ill) repute, an improviser, and an altogether terrible basketball player.



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Samuel Jaye Tanner

Samuel Jaye Tanner

Writer, teacher, professor, improviser. Some stuff is serious. Some is not. Can you guess which is which? Oh, there’s this too: