So, what is this newsletter? It’s a place to get advice. Or peep on those seeking advice.

Ever wanted to ask a teacher a question? I mean, a good question. Not one of those bad questions. I know your teachers told you there were no bad questions. Guess what? They were lying to you.

I’m talking one of those questions you would never ask in person, but something you have always wanted to know. Something about the profession or profession-adjacent. Or something adjacent to the profession-adjacent, even.

Does my kid’s teacher hate me? Of course she does.

How do I get my co-teacher to start carrying her weight during collaboration? Gather round, little ones, let me teach you in the ways of professional emotional warfare.

Why is my teacher husband always so tired and sad at the end of the work day? Your husband is suffering from question fatigue, so for you and your kids, it’s gotta be declarative and exclamatory statements only until bedtime.

How do I confront the janitorial staff, who leave dirty dishes in my classroom’s kitchen sink? You don’t. You do not anger this group of professionals with baseless accusations.

Sometimes I will give thoughtful, well-researched responses, after I have meditated and prayed on them. Other times, I will respond immediately and emotionally, spouting off nonsense, most of it probably angry, because whew, does this profession anger me.

Should anyone ever take my advice? Absolutely not! Guys — and I cannot stress this enough — I have had just as many failures in my career as I have successes. Probably more.

But guess what? I also have many opinions on other peoples’ business and I am willing to put them in writing.

So, if you are with me, here’s a short intro who is behind Ask a Teacher:

Teacher photo from 2008. Look at those over plucked brows. 15 years later, I would pay a lady to permanently tattoo them back on.

  1. I taught special education for 12 years, in midwest public schools, every grade level except 7th and 8th.

  2. I left the profession twice. I adore teaching, but man, did it take from me.

  3. I worked in four buildings in 12 years. I suffered from take-my-ball-and-go-home syndrome, once the dysfunction of the buildings wore me down into an angry little gremlin.

  4. I miss working with teachers so much. Maybe more than I miss being around my students? I wish I could take (some of) my former co-workers and find a nice quiet office for us to data process in. A place where we could gossip while sipping coffee all day.

  5. I won two teaching awards and I have also been investigated twice after two co-workers turned in complaints about me. The highs were high and the lows were low.

Above all, this is a meant to be a love letter to teachers, from someone who has had many wild, difficult, beautiful experiences with the profession. If this sounds like your kind of thing, you can either sit back and enjoy, or you can actively participate, right here. I will email newsletters out weekly.

And please, share with anyone else who you think will enjoy.

—Kristin