Two Burnouts Walks Into a Coffee Shop game of Red Light, Green Light without the Red Light. No stopping. It’s one grueling race. Picture this scene: Millions of educators running hand-in-hand toward an imaginary, unrealistic finish line that no one can really see. Schools compete against schools with teachers shoving teachers and administrators shoving administrators. Get out of the way. It's an entitlement free-for-all and, because we're scared to lose a step, no one is yelling, "Red light!" "Green light!" Class size, and class cap and class clown and "Green light!" 44
Two Burnouts Walks Into a Coffee Shop  game of Red Light, Green Light without the Red Light. No stopping. It   s one gruel...
Chapter Three ...salary and contract and school funding and school violence and school safety and "Green light!" ...too much homework and too little homework and "Green light!" ...too much test prep and not enough test prep and "Green light!" ...SATs and PSATs and ACTs and AP and class rank and Ivy League and "Green light!" ... AYP and OT and SLP and SLD and ...IEP and LRE and ADA and ADHA and ABCs and ...123s and 504s and Read 360 and Write 180 and ...#2 pencils and ...pencil sharpeners that won't sharpen and copiers that won't copy and ...copying and cheating and plagiarizing and "Green Light!" …Turnitin and Edmodo and Schoology and Quora and Khan Academy and ...Planboard and Study Island and Wikispaces and Prezi and Quilt and Evernote and ...Dropbox and Slideshare and white board and black board and smart board and school board and "I'm bored" and "Green Light!" ...Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and X-Box and iPhone and 45
Chapter Three  ...salary and contract and school funding and school violence and school safety and  Green light   ...too m...
Two Burnouts Walks Into a Coffee Shop ...honor roll and select team and districts and All-American and trophy and certificate and student of the month and student of the day and students of the year and first chair and Little League and junior midgets and minors and majors and little junior minor majors and ...state tests and remediation and ticket out the door and Bloom's taxonomy and ...instructional objectives that are specific and ...measurable ...and short-term and ...teacher inservice and teacher burnout and "Green Light!" ...depression and anxiety and bipolar and schizophrenic and ...eating disorders and cutting and sexting and ...bullying that is cyber and bullying that is physical and bullying that is verbal and bullying that is sexual and "Green Light!" ...STDs and AIDS and bud and meth and Oxy and crack and Vicodin and Adderall and Ritalin and ...heroin and overdose and ...suicide and "Green Light!" ...accommodations and collaborations and integrations and recommendations and ...teach, teach, teach, teach, teach, teach, teach and ...learn, learn, learn, learn, learn, learn, learn and ...more, more, more with 46
Two Burnouts Walks Into a Coffee Shop  ...honor roll and select team and districts and All-American and trophy and certifi...
Chapter Three ...less, less, less, and ...mandate and congratulate and celebrate and mediate and "Green Light!" ... "Not my kid," "Not my kid," "Not my kid," and "Not my kid" and ..."Teaching is easy" and "summers off " and ...tenure, tenure, tenure and ..."Those who can, do. And ..."Those who can't, teach." And "Green Light!" ...a culture of evidence, and a culture of care, and a culture of improved learning and ...COMMON and ...CORE and ...STANDARDS and "Green Light!" ...student expectations and parent expectations and district expectations and board expectations and teacher expectations and high expectations and low expectations and no expectations and ...scandals and hypocrisy and essential question and too much apple juice and too much television and too much violence and too many games and too much sugar and ...school safety and fire drill and bomb threat and... WOULD SOMEONE—ANYONE!—PLEASE YELL "RED LIGHT!" SO WE CAN STOP TO SAVOR WHAT'S IMPORTANT? 47
Chapter Three  ...less, less, less, and ...mandate and congratulate and celebrate and mediate and  Green Light   ...  Not ...
Two Burnouts Walks Into a Coffee Shop Poem: “Yes” And he would be successful if he said "Yes"... Can you teach a kid who has an unsolvable pr oblem? "Yes!" Can you teach a kid who ne eds mor e than the system can give? “Yes!" Can you teach a kid who is not r eady to learn, not r eady to car e, not r eady to— “Yes!" "Yes!" "Yes!" 48
Two Burnouts Walks Into a Coffee Shop  Poem     Yes    And he would be successful if he said  Yes ...     Can you teach a ...
Chapter Four Chapter 4 49
Chapter Four  Chapter 4  49
Two Burnouts Walks Into a Coffee Shop Why teachers teach "Did you really get into teaching because of a pair of jeans?" I smirked. It was Thursday, just before noon, and Bobby and I were meeting for lunch at a small deli on Walnut. He had a friend with him, his girlfriend, and I was showing them a photo of his class that I had found in one of my boxes at home. It was a goofy class picture. Everyone was holding an odd item, a representation of a lesson I had taught throughout that year. Jackie was holding a windshield wiper. Jermaine was holding a Lego. Lexi was holding a steering wheel. "Bobby, are you holding a pair of jeans?" Jenny asked, laughing. "He is," I said. "And, yes, I became a teacher because of a pair of jeans." I took a bite of my steak sandwich and started to retell a story from four decades earlier. "We were a bunch of city kids, standing in line to get into the seventh grade dance. 'Jeans?! Nope. No jeans!' the teacher at the door said when he saw my friend's pants. 'You know the rules.' "See, my friend owned one pair of pants—only one!—a pair of jeans. And jeans were not allowed. So we left the dance. It was Friday, and we were mad, so we did what any angry 13-yearold boys would do. We scored some pot and drank my mom’s boyfriend’s cheap whiskey and strolled around the city, doing things we shouldn't have been—“ "You got stoned?" Bobby interrupted. 50
Two Burnouts Walks Into a Coffee Shop  Why teachers teach  Did you really get into teaching because of a pair of jeans   I...