DEAR GRANDDADDY- A Teen, Parent, and Educator Advice Column BLOG #93

Dear Granddaddy, is being a teacher different than you thought it would be? Mary-former student.

Bestselling and award-winning author, speaker, educator, and TV host.


Yes! Like everyone else, I had been a k-12 student, so I thought I knew what teaching was all about. In college, I closely watched my professors. Again, I thought I knew what teaching was about. Also, I had been coaching football and wrestling, so I thought that my success coaching on the field would naturally carry over to successful teaching.

Well! Everything I knew about education was wrong with regards to the context I found myself teaching in. When I began my teaching career, the college pedagogy and theory I learned couldn’t do a thing to help me at the beginning of my teaching career.

On day one, I asked my students to open up their books, and several of them actually refused to do it. I was at a loss for words. The students I went to school with didn’t ever do that, and that kind of behavior was never discussed in grad school, either.

Not really knowing what to do, I decided to use the stronger coach voice that I used when trying to get my athletes to step up their performances. It always seemed to work in sports, so I thought it should work in the classroom.

Well, it didn’t work. Books remained shut, and several students swore at me. A couple of them even threatened me with bodily harm. Me! The football and wrestling coach! What was I to do? I didn’t know… I know what I wanted to do, but, I didn’t think that would be appropriate

However, the one good thing I did know how to do was not quit. I was going to find a way to succeed with my students, who now seemed very puzzling to me. And over the years, I’ve become a lot better at what I do. I still have a very difficult job, but over the years, I have come to learn that I have contributed greatly to our next generation, and that is exactly what I originally set out to do.

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Dan Blanchard is a bestselling and an award-winning author, speaker, and educator who has appeared in several of the world’s Top Ten Podcasts, and over 100 television and radio shows. He now also has a weekly TV show of his own. To find out more about Dan or to submit a question to him, please visit him on his website at: