We’ve profiled teachers at all levels, in all subjects, from all over the country and overseas too. The series has taken us from rural Drumright, Okla., to a mountaintop in Israel. From a jazz class in New Orleans to a Boy Scout troop in South Central LA to the lost world of ancient Greece.
And so we’ve taken a moment here to pull from those stories some of the thoughts and lessons from those teachers that have stuck with us.
Together, they almost make a mini-guide for teachers.
1. Realize Teaching Is A Learned Skill
“I’m really trying hard to dispel this idea that teaching is this thing you’re born to do and it’s somehow natural to everyday life. I don’t think either of those things is true.”
“I want them to say, ‘At least one person, Miss Begay, is there every day for me. Miss Begay is going to wonder where I am if I go missing. There will be one person looking out for me, and it’s Miss Begay.’ ”
“I know that you cannot save everybody. But if one of them could just go along, complete his education, go to college, and I see him in the future doing something positive with his life, that makes me think that what I was doing is all worthwhile.”
The furthest (earliest memory) back I can recall was when I was in my pram outside in the back court and a wasp came in to my pram and stung me, I musta been two years old maybe even younger , I came ‘online’ at that moment.
I made @machtaholic tell me what grooming to do because that’s totally her domain more than mine, and I’m not sure if this fits anyway, but …
There were some small pleasures in life that Eggsy truly
Lazy Saturdays spent with his sister.
Being able to afford a snack at the theatre without counting
Long, hot showers where he used Harry’s fancy soaps in
That’s what he was doing then, anyway; he’d just gotten back
from a long mission, and he was tired and sore—though no longer filthy.
He stayed under the spray until the water was tepid at best,
and even then considered staying there longer.
The bathroom door opened, and Eggsy tensed for a moment
until he realised those soft footfalls belonged to Harry. “When you’re ready to
come out, Eggsy,” he said softly, and Eggsy peeked out from behind the shower
curtain. There, laid out on the counter, was Harry’s straight razor and shaving
kit. Eggsy smiled. He remembered when Harry had first tried to teach him to use
a straight razor. It had been during their 24 hours together before the final
test, but after too many gin-laden martinis. Eggsy counted himself lucky that
he’d not slit his throat open that night, but sine then he’d never strayed from
“Musta missed me,” he teased. “You told me you ain’t let me
ever use that thing.”
“You won’t be using it,” Harry said. “I’ll be using it on
Eggsy hummed. That sounded like it could be nice. Harry’s
cheeks were always impossibly smooth, free of even the bits of stubble no
safety razor could ever swipe away.
“Yeah, al’ight,” he said, and stepped out of the shower,
wrapping a towel around his waist. Harry smiled and made him sit on the toilet with
a hot towel on his cheeks while he worked the razor on the strop. After a
moment, he changed Eggsy’s towel to a fresh hot one while he worked the lather
in a bowl.
“Perhaps someday, we’ll try to teach you once more,” Harry
murmured before applying the cream to Eggsy’s cheeks. There wasn’t much hair there,
but he did have a few days’ worth of stubble to remove, and Harry’s careful,
precise movements felt incredibly intimate.
When he began the shave, the blade delicate in a killer’s
skilled hands, Eggsy barely breathed. He could feel Harry’s breath on his skin
as he scraped away the hair. His fingers twisted in the towel as he held still,
enjoying the feel of the blade against his cheek and chin.
“First pass done,” Harry murmured finally, and Eggsy let out
a shaky breath.
“Don’t know if I can last two more,” he admitted with a
small smile. His cock was already lifting a bit from Harry’s proximity, and how
gentle he was being. Harry had noticed, though he was being careful not to
touch Eggsy in any way beyond what was necessary for the shave.
“Once you’re fully shaved, we’ll take care of that,” Harry
promised, and Eggsy groaned.
“Gonna kill me, guv.”
Harry laughed softly. “I rather think I like you here,” he
said as he re-lathered Eggsy’s face for the second pass. “My life wasn’t
complete until you showed up, and I don’t think I ever realised that.”
Eggsy’s cheeks pinked under the lather, but Harry ignored it
as he began shaving perpendicular to the grain, gun-calloused fingers pressing
against Eggsy’s skin and making shivers run down Eggsy’s spine.
“I love my job, Eggsy, and it’s served me well. Kept me
busy. But before you, there wasn’t anyone I thought I could spend my life with.
Nobody’s ever lived here with me—or wanted to.”
“That’s ‘cause most people don’t want a dead dog watchin’
them shit,” Eggsy murmured.
“Cheeky.” Eggsy winked, letting Harry wipe away the excess
shaving cream as he readied them for the third and final pass. “Just one more,”
Harry whispered, and this last pass was exceptionally torturous; the problem
was that Eggsy’s cock was full and Harry’s hands weren’t on it.
Eggsy’s eyes were closed and his breaths were short while
Harry worked, but the second he was done Harry’s mouth was against his, kissing
“Fuck, yeah,” Eggsy breathed. “’m I clean-shaven enough for
a shag now?” Harry smiled, unknotting Eggsy’s towel and helping him stand. A
hand teased Eggsy’s arse for a moment before Harry smacked him playfully.
“Get to bed, brat.”
Eggsy grinned and hurried to bed.
He’d add post-shave shags to that list of pleasures later.
I’m still taking prompts, but they’re clearly coming slower now lol. I have too many feels over all the sad at the end of this trainwreck of a year, okay?!
Bruh if Spirit and Maka’s mother only divorced 2 months before the series started, does that mean that Soul and Maka’s partnership was already up and going strong even as Maka was going through parental drama? Did Soul ever meet the mother? They musta had the entire world on their shoulders just trying to match up to their progenitors. Just hearing about the expectations for Maka and her new scythe partner. Maybe mother left to travel so that people would stop comparing Maka to her. What if mother had a liking to Soul but after finding out that he was a scythe she became uncomfortable? Did Maka move out as mother and Spirit were fighting to get away from it all? And what about Soul and being intimidated because his partner happened to be one of the most watched people in their world and being afraid of all this “potential to be the best” talk? Spirit would see his daughter with a boy with similar abilities to himself and he doesn’t want Soul to do what he did to mother. Mother tells Spirit that Maka is different than both him and her and she is her own person and her own choices belong to herself. Soul becomes Maka’s confidant through it all and it bonds them. Maybe after the divorce Maka finishes moving everything into Soul’s apartment and permanently becomes his roommate.
“Dad I am not a baby!” Dean protested in the small motel bed.
John sighed as tried to keep a straight face “Look Dean, you believe there are ghosts?” Dean nodded. “Demons?” Another nod. “Werewolves?” Nod. “Well then why don’t you believe in this?”
Dean rolled his eyes “Because dad everyone knows there isn’t a Santa Claus.” At eight Dean had that all encompassing tone children possessed when they knew how the world worked. At almost nine, Dean was a wise old sage on everything in general. There was no doubt or wavering from his point, what he knew was what he knew.
And he knew there wasn’t a Santa Claus.
At his last school Kelly Ayers had told him that Santa Claus was just a story they told little kids to make them go to bed on Christmas day and it was actually parents who bought gifts. Which kinda made sense to Dean since that Christmas he had gotten three comic books and a six pack of Pepsi…all things easily bought at the local corner store instead of made at the North Pole. He had decided not to inform his dad that he had been wise to his ruse…and just let sleepy dogs lie wherever they lay.
Or something like that.
But here it was, Christmas 1987 and John was treating him like a baby. I mean sure sell that Santa Claus stuff to Sammy, he was only four, he ate that junk up. But at almost nine, Dean had decided it was time to let go of childish things and grow up some. So as he sat in his faded blue pajama bottoms and Motley Crue t shirt in bed, he was not going to let his father lie to him some more. Sammy was asleep, only men awake now…so why not just tell the truth?
“Look Dean” John said in a calm and even voice “I am trying to tell you. I need to go out and if Santa Claus shows up I need you to tell him something.”
Dean gave his dad another look, as a slight crease appeared on his forehead. The first sign of him cracking “But dad…how can he be real?”
John gestured with his hands “All stories come from somewhere Dean.” he said allowing himself some time to act it out “In fact in his off time, when he isn’t delivering presents, he’s a hunter.”
“What?” Dean asked in half shock and half disbelief.
John nodded “Uh-huh. Where do you think the knows when you’ve been naughty thing comes from? He uses his…um power to find evil and hunt it down.”
“And he kills him with his trained reindeer?” Dean asked.
John now fought not to burst out laughing “How did you know? That’s right!”
“I knew it!” Dean said pumping his fist in victory “I knew that red nose meant something.”
John coughed to cover his laugh “Right so on Christmas, he comes and drops off presents for good hunters and their kids all over the world.”
Dean’s eyes got wide, his earlier position of not believing in Santa completely abandoned “Have you been good dad?”
John put his most sincere face forward “Well that’s the thing Dean…I need to go to church and make sure. You know…get forgiven and all that.”
Dena nodded quickly “Right so you go do that…and we get presents?”
The senior Winchester nodded “Yep, so I need you to tell Santa something if I miss him while I am at church.”
“Hold on!” Dean said jumping out of bed and running to the table. He snatched a pad of motel stationary and a pen and ran back and sat on the edge of the bed, his eyes wide as he looked at his dad “Ok shoot.”
John covered his face from the huge smile as he looked at the earnest look on Dean’s face. “Ok here’s the message…Tell him Sam has been great and Dean has been…” Dean leaned in as he waited for the last word “…pretty good as well.”
“Pretty good?” Dean exclaimed, not writing the last part down.
John looked at him in mock seriousness “Dean you did clock your gym teacher in Kentucky.”
Dean’s bottom lip jutted out as he scowled “That guy was a jerk!”
“He was trying to explain to you why throwing a dodge ball at someone’s head was not right.”
“Still a jerk.” Dean muttered.
“And there was the time you kicked that older kid in Mississippi.” John brought up.
“He was looking at me like I was a freak!” Dean explained.
“He was nearsighted Dean, he couldn’t even see you from where you were standing.”
“That’s his story.” Dean huffed as he crossed his arms across his chest.’
“Look Dean…I have to tell Santa the truth…I mean he knows it already. You know he knows…”
Dean held up a small hand “Yeah yeah. He knows everything.”
“I’m sure he’ll being you something as well Dean.” John said putting a hand around his son’s back “Just give him my message ok?”
Dean just nodded as he looked at the ground “That’s ok dad. I’ll tell him.”
John’s faith in the plan wavered for a moment. Bobby was the one who had said the kids needed something special for this Christmas. Something to bring the magic of the season back into their eyes. John had agreed…but was lost in how to do that. That was when Bobby outlined his plan.
“Ok I’ll try to be back as quickly as possible.” John said standing and slipping his jacket on “Just pass that along in case I miss him.”
Dean nodded again as he climbed back into bed. He looked like someone had kicked him in the teeth. John was about to falter but he knew it would be forgotten in a little while. Grabbing his keys he locked the door behind him and waked to the Impala.
Dean heard the car start up and take off out of the parking lot. Leaving the room completely silent. Dean laid there as his mind raced…how was he supposed to know Santa was real? He had just written him off as a stupid story so what did it care how he acted during the year? But if he was real…and he was going to be here? He was in serious trouble. Cause all dad brought up was the stuff he knew of, if Santa had that whole knows everything gig going for him…Dean was hosed. How was he going to explain that?
Minutes turned into a half hour and Dean had almost dozed off when he heard the motel room door open. He opened one eye and saw a red and white form sneak into the room quietly. Dean held his breath as Santa closed the door behind him. Holy crap! He WAS real. He had a small sack with him and he began to move over to the table with quiet steps.
Dean took a deep breath, now or never.
Sitting up he said in a low voice “Mr. Claus?”
Santa paused and looked back at the young boy “Dean Winchester? Why are you awake?”
Dean grabbed the pad from the table “I have a message for you from my dad.”
Santa paused “Well ok, what is it?”
Dean looked down at the pad and tried to find some way out of his predicament…and found nothing. He was pinched for sure. Putting the pad down he said “My dad wanted you to know that Sammy was extra good this year. He took his bath without fussing all the time and never complained about not having the right cereal or eating Spaghettios three nights in a row. He’s doing really good in school and he is already reading on his own. And even though he doesn’t know about the whole hunter thing…he is extra brave.”
Santa stood there blinking for a few seconds “That’s it?”
“Anything else?” the old man asked.
“No sir. Just that he deserved extra stuff this year. Anything you got…Sam isn’t picky. He’ll love it no matter what.” Dean said in that same level voice.
Santa came closer and sat down at the edge of the bed “And what about you?”
Dean looked down and sighed “I’m not a very good kid sir. I’m sure you know that. I mean I try…but it’s hard.” he felt his chest tighten up but he pressed on “Like the kid I hit in the head with the dodge ball, he had joked that my mom musta dressed me that morning cause my clothes looked stupid when it was all I had clean so I had to wear it and he shouldn’t say stuff about my mom cause she’s dead and that’s not fair and the guy I hit in Mississippi I thought was staring at Sam weird and I didn’t know he was half blind and I said I was sorry afterwards but he bawled like a baby anyways and I didn’t mean to slit that guys tires in Memphis but he said that dad’s car was a penis car and I don’t know what that means but that car is the coolest car this side of KITT and no one gets away with calling it anything and the time I unscrewed all the salt shaker’s in that diner was because the waitress gave us a look when we ordered more pie because we had been on the road for like forever and was still hungry and I saw how dad looked ashamed at the way she shook her head and the time…”
Santa put a hand out and paused the young man in midbreath “Dean…” Dean stopped and looked up at Santa with tears in his eyes “What are you trying to say?”
Dean sniffled “Please Mister Claus, don’t punish Sammy cause I’m a bad kid. Give me the charcoal or whatever it is you do for that but give him some toys…cause he’s basically a good kid…and he doesn’t have any toys.” Dean sniffled again “And he’s a kid…he deserves some toys.” Dean wasn’t sure but it looked like Santa was crying also but that was stupid.
“Look Dean” Santa said after a few seconds “I think you’re a great kid. You take care of your brother and make sure he is taken care of, no matter how busy your dad gets you never complain, never shirk your responsibilities and you are always there for him.” He put a gloved hand on Deans face “And that makes you the best kind of kid of all.”
Dean blinked back tears “But I was bad…” he said.
“Dean” Santa said, in that same voice dad used when he didn’t want his son arguing with him “Trust me. You’re a great kid.”
Dean wiped his nose as Santa opened his bag up and pulled out a wrapped present “Here.” he said “Normally you would have to wait, but I think in this case, you can open it now.”
Dean’s eyes got wide as he took the package with reverence “You mean it? For me?”
Dean opened it and found a black leather bracelet in it. He pulled it out, seeing it would fit him, but could be made much larger as well. “What is it?” he asked.
Santa helped him out it on “When your father was in the Marines, his unit had a set of these made up. All of them had one, each one black leather like this.” he said making sure it was on tight.
Dean held up his arm and looked at it “What’s it mean?”
Santa leaned back “It means you are a warrior.” he said with obvious pride “You are part of a unit and they count on you just like you count on them.”
Dean touched it lightly “What unit?”
Santa smiled “Winchester Hunter Unit.” he said “You’re 2nd in command.”
Dean’s eyes got wide “Really?”
Dean pulled the leather to his chest “Thank you Santa.”
Santa held his arms open and the boy hugged him hard “Merry Christmas Dean.”
Dean hugged him back as hard as he could, he couldn’t stop crying. Santa held him until he was cried out and then the man laid him back into bed. With a tired voice Dean asked “But you brought Sammy something right?”
Santa smiled again “Yes Dean, I brought him some toys.”
Dean smiled as he snuggled up in his covers “Good. He’s stinky…but he’s a good brother.”
Santa looked down at the drowsy child and murmured “Not as good as you are.” But Dean was already asleep.
John set out the rest of the presents and began to creep out of the motel when he heard a gasp. He looked over and saw Sam sitting up in bed, eyes wide in shock. John put a finger to his beard and made a shhing motion. Sam nodded unblinking as he walked out of the motel room, locking the door behind him.
John stood outside of the door as he heard a muffled “DEAN! DEAN! WAKE UP!! SANTA WAS HERE!”
His smile was still there when he went around the corner and found Bobby sitting in his truck waiting to take John back to the Impala. As he got into the truck Bobby asked “Well?”
“You are the smartest man I know Bobby Singer.” his voice still cracking with emotion.
Bobby grinned and nodded as he shifted into drive “And don’t you forget it.” After a few minutes he said “Merry Christmas John.”
Harry: You were sat on the couch just watching TV and eating a bowl full of snacks as you could see Harry in the corner of your eye giving you some side glances. Things had been quite frosty between the both of you for the past few days, and it was silent between the both of you. But taking into account of past disputes you figured it would just pass if you didn’t bother with it… but then again, your fights had never lasted this long. As you laughed at a commercial that had come on, the television was suddenly turned off and you quickly turned to Harry, “Hey!” “Could you just do it [Y/N]?” he stated, and you blinked in confusion. “What?” “I already know you’re gonna end things between us. So please just say it.” “Harry? What are you talking about? Are you crazy? Why would I break up with you?” “Cause we had a really big fight.” “So? Harry. Everyone fights. That doesn’t mean I want to break up with you!” He began to smile widely, “So… we’re not breaking up?” “No!” you answered back slightly annoyed. With that he got up, lightly tackling you into a big hug, “Thank god.”
Liam: You felt busy with the millions of things you had on your mind. You felt like you didn’t have time for anything, and you didn’t realize it, but Liam was feeling pretty crappy about it, especially when you would have to work on into the night and snap at him for trying to help you out in the simplest of ways. One night as you made dinner, you heard the faint footsteps as he walked into the kitchen. “I’m sorry [Y/N].” You looked up at this random apology, “What?” “I’m sorry for whatever I’ve done that’s made you act this way. Just please baby. Don’t leave me. I love you so much.” He said before taking out a bouquet of flowers from behind his back. But now you were as confused as ever as you took the flowers from him, “Wait. Liam… Do you think I’m breaking up with you?” “Well, you’ve just been so distant and mad with me. I just thought you’d begun to get sick of me.” You chuckled to yourself as you smiled, “Oh Liam,” and you kissed his cheek, “I’m sorry baby. I didn’t mean to worry you. I’ve just been so busy. I didn’t mean to let it out on you. I love you. I’m not breaking up with you.” He just pulled you in and kissed you, feeling him relax as he did.
Louis: Long distance relationships were hard. Very hard. Harder than you could ever expect it to. You couldn’t kiss him. You couldn’t cuddle with him. You couldn’t easily talk about the random things. You couldn’t hold his hand or feel him just there. But you loved him. And you didn’t want to lose him. So if it was gonna be this way. Then so be it. But with both your schedules, not to mention the different time zones, Skype calls and just calls were becoming somewhat rare, but texting was always a good option, even if it wasn’t the best. “[Y/N]? Are you happy?” you read one night as you watched TV. “What? What do you mean? Like right now cause this show has escalated pretty quickly.” “No. With us. Is being with me making you unhappy?” You immediately dialed him up, “Louis, what are you talking about?” “I’m not saying I want to break up [Y/N]. But I understand if you do. I’m always away, and I can’t even cuddle with you and watch TV or anything.” “Louis. Don’t be ridiculous! I don’t want us to break up! I love you! I don’t care how far you go, I will love you and wait until you get home and cuddle with me.” You could practically hear his smile as he giggled slightly, but his giggle sounded more… here? You looked up and after the initial shock jumped into his arms, “You’re home!”
Niall: You were a fangirl at heart. There was no denying it. No matter what, that “culture”, “atmosphere”, “persona”, would always be a part of you. But Niall was quite similar and wasn’t afraid to show his fan side sometimes. It was one of the many things you loved about him. You had invited your friend over, where the conversation had turned from casual happenings to fangirling quickly- specifically talking about how great your fave was, and you just kept going on and on. You couldn’t help it. “Niall’s not here is he?” your friend asked half nervous. “No. We would’ve heard the door open. Why would it matter if he was anyway?” You said and continued your conversation. “Meh, I don’t know. I was just wondering.” When your friend had left Niall had come about 10 minutes after, and with one look at him, you could tell something was wrong. “Niall? Baby? What’s wrong?” “So. Who is he? This guy that’s just so great, you’d rather him more than me?” he said immediately. “What?!” “You musta dialed me by accident, I heard you talk to [Y/F/N] about some guy you like much better than me. What’s he got that I don’t? Where does he live? [Y/N] how-” You suddenly realized and couldn’t help but laugh, “Oh Niall…”and he just stared at you, “He’s some celebrity that I’ll never meet, and even if I did he wouldn’t date me cause he’s already got someone else.” You explained half-heartedly. “Wait. Seriously?” and you nodded, “Phew! I was preparing for a break up. And then I’d have to stomp over to this guy’s place cause no one steals my baby away from me without a fight!” You smiled, suddenly feeling comforted by his feelings for you, as you hugged him tightly.
Zayn: It wasn’t like you and Zayn didn’t love each other. Just sometimes you had an argument or two. Usually these only lasted at least 5 minutes, but this last one was out of proportions and with both your stubborn attitudes, you both weren’t budging on your views, causing this particular fight to last days. Only side glances and one worded sentences were exchanged, and though you were getting slightly anxious at the length of this dispute, you refused to back down. Fifth day into this fight and nothing was changing except that Zayn’s actually glanced your way a couple of times. As you ate dinner and watched TV, you heard Zayn begin to call your name. But in terms of this fight, you didn’t reply. “[Y/N]?” You just kept on ignoring him, “Fine. I guess we’re breaking up then.” “Wait. WHAT?!” and you quickly turned to him. “Well. You’ve been ignoring me and you haven’t been able to look at me. What else am I supposed to think?!” “What?! Zayn. No! I don’t want us to break up. I thought we were just fighting.” “Well, it’s never gone on this long.” And you saw him turn a slight shade of red. A silence fell between you both. “Do we fight too much?” you asked. “Maybe.” He said solemnly. “But. I don’t want us to break up.” You said, your voice faltering. He came over and pulled you close, “You said it yourself [Y/N]. We’re not breaking up. I don’t want us to, and now I know you don’t want to either. Let’s just try to argue a little less. Okay?” You felt yourself smile, “Yeah. Okay.”