Thursday, July 05, 2007

From Sir, With Love

Many people will be happy to know that I finally found a teaching job. This fall, I will be the brand new (and only) Art teacher at Fairfax Middle School in Kansas City, Kansas. You may be familiar with the Fairfax name only by reputation, as it's a middle school/high school for kids with criminal records. I know what you're thinking--I got tired of looking and finally settled for this. Well, not entirely. After having worked for the past year in the Shawnee Mission School District, and being told constantly that I would be considered for various Art openings, I finally got fed up and called KCK directly. After having sat down with the Fine Arts coordinator, I felt confident that this district would be my new home come fall.

My timing couldn't have been better, as Fairfax is in the process of starting up a new Art department, after years of never having one. This opportunity seemed my best fit since, as many of you are aware, I worked with this very type of population for two years while I worked toward my teaching certification. I never thought that I would be going back to doing it, but couldn't be more excited about the opportunity. And the idea that I'll be developing the school's art department from scratch has me even more eager to get started.

Lisa has reminded me that, with my "tough love" attitude, I come on the heels of a long line of no nonsense, inner city school faculty members--Richard Dadier from Blackboard Jungle, "Crazy Joe" Clark from Lean On Me, Mark Thackeray from To Sir, With Love, Coach Carter, Gabe Kotter....the list goes on. Would it be pushing it to include Ralph Hinkley from The Greatest American Hero in the mix? I guess he's got the same hair as me.

6 Comments:

Blogger Gabriela said...

You should have your students call you Senior Teel. I like your new business look as well as the baseball bat. Congratulations!

05 July, 2007  
Anonymous Sundance said...

You forgot about Michelle Pfieffer in Dangerous Minds. And Jon Lovitz in High School High. And Howard Hessman in Head of the Class. And Mr. Belding from Saved by The Bell. Should I go on? I really need to get out more. Seriously, though, congrats! Sounds like Will Ferrell has found a new vehicle for his next dramatic role.

05 July, 2007  
Blogger Mark Teel said...

Yeah, I was just up at the library looking for this book by Ruby Payne called "Teaching For Learning." It's about inner city schools and what the kids there have to offer in terms of their home lives and ethnic backgrounds. They didn't have it, but I picked-up a copy of "To Sir, With Love." I always wanted to read it and figured it was as good a time as any.

I also noticed a little gem by the name of "My Posse Don't Do Homework," which is the book that "Dangerous Minds" was based on. I flipped through it and found no sign of Coolio though.

05 July, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MARK!!! THIS IS SO COOL AND I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!!! YOU ARE GOING TO BE AMAZING!!! YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE AND THE KIDS WILL REMEMBER YOU IN 20 YEARS WHEN THEIR KIDS ASK THEM WHO THEIR FAVORITE TEACHER WAS!

Sorry for the capslock, I'm just so excited.

Your biggest fan (or at least in the top three or four),
Kat

05 July, 2007  
Anonymous Mom said...

Another movie you should rent is Freedom Riders, another movie about an inner city school that stars Hillary Swank as the teacher who wins the troubled kids over. It was based on a true story.
It's an excellent movie! I know you'd like it.

Congratulations again, Mark!!! I know you'll be a good teacher!

Love,
Mom

05 July, 2007  
Anonymous 'saw said...

That's really funny ... the drawing / moving picture related comments, not the job - now THAT'S awesome!

Rock on Coach Carter,

blade

06 July, 2007  

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