Many years ago before I was a teacher I had numerous run ins with the law. In 1998, I had a DUI and a second one in 1995. I also had several driving with a suspended license charges one of which landed me in jail for 23 days (in 1991), several disturbing the peace offences, and a trespass charge in 1998. Because of these offences my teaching certificate was on probation for five years. Since 1998, I have had random tickets here and there but my last one of those was about six or seven years ago.
I was really going nowhere and I had to decide what kind of person I wanted to be and at some point I decided I wanted to be the kind of guy his mom could be proud of and who would make a difference even if it was a small one. I had been working in special needs camps for children and adults here in Florida and around the country and taking classes when I wasn’t. When I finished my degrees teaching special needs kids seemed like a natural fit.
That was hard to write. Where I am not proud of many of the choices I made as a young man they did help to shape me. I think I can relate with many of the kids of today. I understand how many of them aren’t especially optimistic about the future, some are angry, some don’t have hope, and many don’t understand the value of education.
I am not some suit. I have lived the same lives as many of the kids I have worked with have and I want them to have the same opportunities, a quality public education with a professional teacher, like I had.
Also I get it, there is no way not to sound self serving when you write about how you used to make bad choices like it was your job and was a jerk but now you have seen the light. If it can be done, it obviously can’t be done by me but I am sincere when I say I believe in public education, I believe the better we treat teachers the better things will be for our students, and I believe in being decent and that’s what I have tried to be and I just have to hope that will be enough.