I think I’ll use some photos to introduce myself.
First of all, why all the pictures of me in silly pajamas? A few years ago, I was trying to inspire my class to get excited about the school fundraiser. One of their favorite ideas was having me wear Batman pajamas and, to be even funnier, I should go shoeless. “Barefoot Batman” was how they described the incentive. We easily reached our goal that year and a tradition was born! Batman proved to be popular for the next couple of years. Two years ago, Superman was added to the outfits. And last year, with many of the same kids for the second year in a row, they wanted new outfits: panda, unicorn, Dory, Tennessee Vols, and a Florida Gator (I’m an Alabama fan). Who knows what this year will bring?
You’ll probably see pictures of me in a Batman outfit in several places throughout the year. I do this as a reminder that, even though we will work hard this year, we’ll also have fun. With all the stress that school can bring, I think it’s important that you remember that your teacher is willing to do just about anything to make learning easier. So, when you see me in that silly outfit, take a breath, relax, and remember to smile!
I was born many years ago in St. Augustine. I was adopted by a young couple who lived there. My family didn’t stay around for long, though. We moved quite a few times. My parents, younger brother, and I lived in several different cities in North Carolina (most notably Charlotte), as well as Atlanta, Valdosta, and Gainesville, Ga. During that time, I played youth sports and developed a love for reading.
After high school, I went to the University of Alabama and earned my degree in Elementary Education. I was lucky enough to see Paul “Bear” Bryant coach his final season during my freshman year. After moving so much as a child, I decided to settle down in Tuscaloosa, staying for the next 24 years. The definite highlight of my time there was meeting my wife, Vicky. She is also an Alabama alumnus and we are both rabid fans of the Crimson Tide, as my students find out pretty quickly. (Don’t worry, though. I’ve had and tolerated Florida, FSU, Tennessee, and even Auburn fans in my room.) I missed the ocean, though, and we finally moved back to Florida in 2006. It was my good fortune to get a teaching job at Jacksonville Beach Elementary. Vicky teaches at Mandarin High School.
Vicky and I like to travel, especially on cruises. We love the water and enjoy spending as much time there as possible. You’ll notice I haven’t posted a picture of her here. That’s because I would be in huge trouble if I did. So, you’ll have to settle for a photo taken by her of me on a Caribbean beach during one of our vacations. In addition to hanging out near a beach, I like to spend my leisure time scuba diving, reading, and watching Alabama football.
While we don’t have any children, Vicky and I both love dogs. After losing our longtime pet basset hound, Tipper, in 2013, we waited about a year before deciding that it was time to welcome another puppy into our home. Our Yorkie, Gracie, is five years old now and absolutely spoiled rotten. By the way, she also dons Crimson Tide apparel during football season.
I had an amazing life experience earlier last year. As I wrote earlier, I was adopted at birth. Well, a couple of years ago I took a DNA test to see my ethnic heritage and find out if there were any relatives around. In April of 2018, I received a response from an aunt who lives in Jacksonville! She quickly put me in touch with my birth parents, who live just outside of San Francisco. Within a couple of weeks, they flew here and we reunited for the first time in more than five decades. Since then, I’ve gone to California several times to meet and get to know my three sisters and their families. They’ve all been incredibly kind, loving, and accepting. I truly have a new family and they’re absolutely wonderful!
I love teaching at Jacksonville Beach Elementary School. Working with students who strive to learn, interacting with parents who take a positive active role in their child’s education, and collaborating with professionals who love the art of teaching has been a joy. From teaching math and science to working with the school play to fulfilling fundraising pledges by dressing in silly pajamas (and getting wrapped in TP and hit with shaving cream), it’s been a pleasure to work at JBE these past thirteen years. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
P.S. It was even fun getting taped to the wall the past two years! Should we do it again this spring?
Now that you know a bit about me, I’d like to know a little about you. For this week’s homework, you need to do the following: 1) show you know how to leave a comment about what you’ve just read by doing so in the space below (your comment won’t post until I approve it), then 2) click on the homework page link and complete the questions. This assignment is due Thursday night (August 15).