I’m relatively famous!

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Browser Window pixA while back I fired off an email to Steve Dembo of teach42.com about several things, including a mysterious person named GCPS who was posting all kinds of useful educational links on a regular basis.

At first Mr. Dembo and myself were both under the impression that GCPS was a person who was just very, very helpful, but then I got to thinking. You see, I work in Prince George’s County Public Schools, which we often shorten to PGCPS. That made me wonder if the “PS” in GCPS meant “Public Schools” as well. One Google search later and I found this site. Looks like my hunch was right.

So why am I famous? Well, that little revelation got me a mention and a link on teach42’s most recent podcast. Mr. Dembo might not think of himself as famous, but someone who has to get paid hosting because over a hundred people are downloading every podcast he does is much more famous than I am.

The term I like to use sometimes is “relative fame,” although I’m still looking for a better name. Everyone’s famous to someone, even more so in this wonderful world of education. For example: last month I covered a lunch duty for another teacher. It was Kindergarten and 1st grade. You should have seen it! Half the kids were waving and telling their classmates “The Art Guy’s here!” (As if my ego wasn’t inflated enough already.) To them the art teacher is a celebrity, more so than Dan Rather, Ted Turner, Clarence Thomas, or many other household names that we adults know.

On the other side of the coin I’m a nobody to most other people outside my four schools, but that’s ok. I don’t NEED to be famous to everyone. I don’t NEED to be a household name. If I wanted to be, I wouldn’t have chosen teaching as a career. I’m doing this because I love to do it, and because it pays the bills.

I may not need it, but I have noticed that fame can be very encouraging. The kids are always glad to see me, and I feed off of that energy every time I walk through a classroom door. I grew up a bookish introvert, but in the classroom I let my extroverted inner child out to play. I know I’ve had a good lesson when even the classroom teacher cracks a grin at my dry humor or, better yet, joins in and makes an artwork along with the rest of the class.

Well that’s enough ranting for now – I’m off to check the RSS feeds of people who may not be famous to you, but they most certainly are famous to me.

Aaron Smith is a Media Arts & Technology Teacher who spends most of his time on computers. In his free time he plays video games, edits videos, and misses his wife dearly.