If you had told me ten years ago that I would still be connected to my high school journalism teacher more than a decade after graduation, I would have raised an eyebrow. (Especially if I knew how to raise an eyebrow.) But thanks to the magic of the internet, Carol Richstsmeier—known as Richie to me and her many students over the years—continues to educate me weekly, via her awesome blog.
I’m sure her Bellringers posts are especially valuable to her fellow educators, particularly those strong and brave souls who advocate for and produce quality student journalism in a time when the modern media doesn’t necessarily set great examples. But for me, an education outsider considering a career change, Richie’s contributions are meaningful because her candid, unflinching honesty tells the unvarnished truth of what it is to be a teacher.
It’s hard to be both onstage and behind-the-scenes, but Richie manages it every week, showing up daily for her students in the classroom and supporting them in their nationally award-winning efforts, and also finding the time to share her personal experience, telling it like it is and reminding me that snark and idealism are not mutually exclusive.
I am so grateful for her perspective, which reveals a not-so-shiny (but always entertaining) side of education, and it bums me out that she and countless other teachers don’t often get the credit they so dearly deserve.
I think Richie is more impressive than any award could ever be. (Not only has she found tremendous success in her field, inspiring multitudes of students and building not one but two journalism programs from the ground up to national acclaim, but she’s even published a book!)
Alll the same, I know it feels good to be recognized, which is why I’m publicly letting her know how fantastic I find her to be—and why I hereby nominate her for an Edublog Award for Best Teacher Blog. Here’s to you, Richie, and to your one-of-a-kind online lessons!