About Time Not Teaching

Being a teacher is similar to being a writer in that you so thoroughly invest yourself in the school year/novel that it gets into your subconscious. Great ideas come on dog walks because your brain doesn’t disengage — at least until vacation. School fully permeates everything in your life, or at least it does the way I teach.

As I returned to the personal humor writing I’ve done on and off since Letterman was on at 12:30, I discovered so much now connected to my life at school. I was always looking for the sixth grade connection, and I could usually find it, if sometimes only marginally. So this newsletter is about my life beyond the classroom, but it’s a life inextricably tied to, and driven by my life as a teacher. It’s about my time not teaching.

Why should you care? I try to string words together in a pleasant way. As I’ve often said, I was not a good standup because usually my jokes don’t make you go


It’s more like

(QUIETLY NODDING) Say, that’s kinda funny.

Maybe I’d kill at a beatnik standup night. But my time in Hollywood convinced me I’m funnier written down than out loud. So here we are.

Want to start your own?

Go be a writer: Substack.com.

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Teaching, comics, past writings -- a one-stop shop for all your dantobin needs. Failing to find an online audience since 2003


Writer, teacher, epic self-describer. Odd writing portfolio: The Boston Phoenix, a couple network television sitcoms, lot of blogging. Teaching 6th grade English at a public middle school in Cambridge, MA since 2011. World’s first triple EGOT.