Dear Students, You’re Not #1.

Dear Students,

Please read carefully and completely before passing judgement.  

You’re not the #1 priority in my life.  That spot is reserved for my family.  I love my wife and three children more than just about anything.  You’ve been in my class and heard my stories…you know.  I show you our weekend excursions on facebook.  I relate anything and everything in our class discussions to them.  You’ve seen my cabinet doors full of my kids’ art work:


I love those people so much and will drop everything for them.  Nothing brings me more joy than a great day at home with my people.  It’s ridiculous, really, how much I care for them and they for me.  

But don’t worry, you are a close second.  Outside of my family, there’s no one I care about and invest in more than you.  I genuinely enjoy our time together.  I’m not just a teacher for the big bucks(1).  I’m not just a teacher because I am able to discuss psychology all day.  A big part of the reason I teach…is you.  Trust me, I would much rather interact with you than deal with adults most days.  I think you are awesome and I appreciate you.  I know I’m here to teach you some content and study skills, but you also educate me.  You challenge my perceptions and make me a more tolerant and happier person.  Thank you.

Don’t worry that you’re not #1.  I hope this serves as a positive example for you.  If you decide one day you’d like to start a family, I implore you to put them above all else.  With few caveats, your job can wait.  The emails can wait.  The phone calls can wait.  What cannot wait, and what you cannot get back, is time and experiences with the people you love.  I’ve heard my dad say many times that “we’re just making memories.”  I didn’t grasp the intent of his point initially, but over time I’ve definitely come to understand just what he means.   Although my children are only 5, 3, and 1, I already feel as if time is slipping away and they’re growing up too quickly.  I want to get home to my wife (Jenny), Eli (5), Hattie (3), and Jane (1) as quickly as possible after school.  I only get a few hours with them before it’s time to prepare for bed and wake up to do it all over again the next day.  In what may appear odd to you, the more time I spend with my family, the happier and more energized I am as your teacher.  Generally, a happier Coach Harvard = happier students = better learning environment.  While happy doesn’t always equal better learning, it certainly can help.  

So, don’t worry that you’re #2.  The fact that my family is #1 insures you get my #1 effort.  

1. sarcasm – the use of irony to mock or convey contempt.

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