A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 03, 2018
“I don’t teach subjects. I teach students”

"I don’t teach subjects (English, Math, Social Studies, et al.), I teach students” is a popular saying with many teachers. What’s most important is the students, and teaching to their levels of ability and enthusiasm. It’s not know who said it first.

“I don’t teach a program, I teach students” was printed in a 1983 newspaper. “I don’t teach math. I teach students” was printed in 1984, “I don’t teach English, speech or world literature, but I teach students” in 1991 and “I don’t teach English, I teach students” in 1993.

24 February 1981, Nashville (TN) Graphic, “Mental Meanderings” by Bartow Houston, pg. 4, col. 6:
I am a school teacher. Well, that’s not exactly true. Semantically speaking, I don’t teach school. I teach students. Well, some of them are students. Almost all of them are very nice youngsters.

10 April 1983, The Sunday Telegram (Rocky Mount, NC), “Women Give Times And Attention In Tutoring” by Lucinda Drew, pg. 49, col. 4:
While very pleased with Readers’ Digest 2000, Motzmo states “I don’t teach a program, I teach students.”

14 May 1984, Pensacola (FL) Journal, “Herb Baker teaches student and not math” by Kathy Beasley, pg. 2C, col. 2:
(Herb Baker, Santa Rosa County’s teacher of the year.—ed.)
But, when required to do so, he writes and speaks eloquently about his philosophy of teaching, which may be best expressed in a few words: “I don’t teach math. I teach students.”

28 March 1991, Aberdeen (SD) American News, “Educator to speak at Baptist school Northern,” pg. 8A, col. 3:
Doud (1986-87 National Teacher of the Year Guy Doud—ed.) streses the human element in education. He says, “I must remember that I don’t teach English, speech or world literature, but I teach students. I teach kids, and I want to teach them in a way that I would like to be taught. In the way that I would like my children to be taught.”

4 September 1993, Hartford (CT) Courant, “East Granby: Teacher of the year stresses students, not curriculum” by Brian M. Trotta, pg. B2, col. 1:
EAST GRANBY—When Lynn McMullin is in a classroom, she puts the emphasis on her students, never letting the curriculum get in the way of learning.

“I don’t teach English, I teach students,” McMullin said.

Google Groups: bit.listserv.techwr-l
What should an introductory seminar on tech writing cover?
Knowledge is constructed:  I don’t teach writing, I teach students.

Google Groups: k12.chat.teacher
I disagree.  I don’t teach US History.  I teach students.  I may know US History backwards, forwards and upside down, but if I can not impart what I know, then I am an incompetant teacher.

Rodney Turner, M.Ed
“I don’t teach subjects; I teach students.” Bianca Elliott (via other tweeters,too) #bosy
12:14 PM - 31 Jul 2009

Jimbo Lamb
Replying to @tomwhitby
@tomwhitby I don’t teach math or technology. I teach students.
10:04 AM - 13 May 2010

Karl Fisch
Replying to @TeachaKidd
@TeachaKidd I don’t teach curriculum (mathematics), I teach students (mathematics).
10:26 PM - 16 Sep 2010

Learning Technology
We think too much about content. ‘I don’t teach content: I teach students.’ —J. Lawford Anderson #usctwt11
2:49 PM - 3 May 2011

Eve N. Dennard
“I don’t teach classes --- I teach students” ~~ Thomas S. C. Farrell (@ The KOTESOL Teachers Conference) <<<< Love This.
8:29 PM - 16 Oct 2011

Replying to @nictophile
@PhilophobicMe In Mrs Thai perspective:
I don’t teach social studies. I teach students.
7:09 AM - 1 Feb 2012

Heng Swee Keat: As one teacher told me - “I don’t teach Physics; I teach students”
11:46 PM - 7 Mar 2012

Emilia Carrillo
#flipcon the purpose of her flip teaching: “ ‘I don’t teach French, I teach students’ “ #flipclass #lancgchat
3:32 PM - 19 Jun 2012

Greg Mullenholz
“I don’t teach English. I teach students English” Congrats to @Mr_McComb, Nat’l TOY from @MdPublicSchools http://www.cbsnews.com/news/national-teacher-of-the-year-sean-mccomb-uses-troubled-past-to-teach/
10:33 PM - 30 Apr 2014

Sally From Peanuts Made Me A Better Teacher
Kevin Wong
September 3, 2018 1:30pm
Teachers—good teachers anyway—are more than just the subject matter they teach. It’s an old joke among teachers: “I don’t teach English. I teach students!”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Monday, September 03, 2018 • Permalink