A teacher's blog makes a difference

A teacher whose blog once got him into hot water now seeks an audience for a talented young writer.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor

Andrew McNamar' s blog, The Daily Grind gained notoriety last year when he posted criticism of some of his female students for they way they dressed at the junior prom. He was asked by the school to "be careful" about what he writes on his blog, and he wound issuing an apology to students, which incensed a good many of his readers, such as John Patrick:

I saw the news story and found your blog, and I'm disgusted.

As teachers, our job is to prepare students for the real world, not coddle and indulge their naivete.

If it hurts your feelings that a teacher loses respect for you because you dress like a hooker, don't dress like a hooker at a school event. DUH.

I didn't get to read what you said, because you've chosen to censor yourself. I understand that you have to protect your job, and I wouldn't blame you for having to censor my comment.

The overinflated and ungrateful sense of entitlement that some students try to bully us with makes me want to puke.

When I am unlucky enough to have to chaperone a dance, I always have a talk with my classes. I tell them that the choices they make at the dance (clothes, behavior) will have an impact on my esteem of them in the classroom. They are almost always shocked, but DUH.

Also, be careful about the words you choose when you blog. Now we're all reading.

But that was last year. This week McNamar discovered something magical, a student essay so good he was moved to seek out publication for it.
I read an essay, the likes of which I have never read in a Pre-College class. This essay has a future, should it find its way into the right hands. It is an essay that, when I finished reading, I felt like I had just finished reading an essay in a respected magazine or anthology. I once had a professor tell me a sermon I wrote for a Homiletics class could be published, but he never helped me. I want to help this kid. If you know of a way to get work published, please let me know.
Whether he finds wide publication or not, the teacher's blog has already had an impact on a young man likely in need of impact:
Wow... I really don't know what to say. Thanks McNamar for taking the time to do that for me. I wasn't quite sure how my essay ended up, but it's very comforting to know it had the effect that it has shown. Thanks to all who commented, it really feels great to know people take this seriously. Thanks again MC!
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