Yet none of this averted his resolve to equip his students with a quality curriculum or his best effort at terrific teaching. Paranormal classroom happenings? Not a chance. Tuna fish and human hair sandwiches? No way. A bursting bladder? Think again.
Instead, he found himself developing lifelong friendships with staff members, an intrinsic feeling of accomplishment through helping students succeed, and even experiencing romance in the classroom. (It may not be what you are thinking!)
This book is what teaching in a public classroom is really like, without any excuses or apologies, and without wearing the rosy lenses of societal stereotypes. It’s a frank look inside the mind and classroom of one rather insignificant, average, individual teacher. He struggled to be the best he could be, sometimes succeeding, and sometimes failing in unimaginable fashion.
Roger Wong lived most of his life in the greater Seattle area, with the exception of a three-year stint in the US Army (1972–1975) where he served in Germany protecting America and our European allies against those nasty Russian commies. He currently lives with his wife, Jean, and her annoying cat. He’s enjoying retirement by traveling, working out, reading, and watching football and baseball games on TV with his neighbor.
Roger’s wife is currently teaching, so Roger’s new occupation of “house manager” keeps him busy with laundry, cooking, paying bills, cleaning, and yard work. He’s been fortunate that there haven’t been too many “misadventures” involved with managing the house.
With the current public school emphasis on overtesting students, blaming teachers for all student failures, a deterioration of professional respect, and misguided reforms, Roger hopes the educational pendulum will swing back to better times, for the sake of his daughter, who is just beginning her journey as a new teacher, and for all those hardworking, dedicated teachers across America.
Darling-Hammond is the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University, a chief education advisor to President Obama, Co-Director of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education, and Founding Director of the School Redesign Network at Stanford.
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