The recent passing of Joe Bower has led many teachers and educators to remember him with words on the internet. I did not know of him until he died suddenly. The saddest part to me was that he never got to hear and read all the wonderful things that was said about him after he died and almost all of them from people whom he’s never met or knew personally.
There’s no time like the present to write eulogies of my own, so here are 3 people that I met on Twitter I thought of when I wanted to write this post. They are not yet dead.
Andrew Campbell is the Spock of edu-Twitter. He always tries to be objective & logical. I admire how he challenges the status quo, disagree with the populist, and never seems to get angry (except when I tease him about being old). Whenever I have questions about my practice, I try seek his input because he always puts the students first and that’s what I strive to do when I teach. Andrew’s advice is always so convincing to me (He’s from England and I was born in Hong Kong which was once a British colony, so draw your own conclusions). Andrew’s blogs are genuine and from his heart and his published articles addresses things that we often overlook in the education world. He is also Kevin Pillar’s biggest fan and/or illegitimate father.
Royan Lee is my definition of a connected educator. His ability to connect different people with similar interest is something I thought I was good at until I saw what he was doing. One must have a tremendous memory to be able to categorize their twitter followers’ interests, then to alert said followers when he finds something interesting for his tweeps. Royan also organized a very successful outing to a Blue Jays game that I was apart of, and now this group (also started by Royan, kind of) can often be found giggling at their phones through WhatsApp. Look through his blog and Twitter and Instagram to see that he is one busy and talented dude. To be able do all this while being a great dad with 3 kids makes me hate him a little.
Fred Galang is the Filipino me. Or I am the Chinese Fred. Or Fred is me with the ability to drink alcohol and grow a beard. All I know is that I’m better than he is at riding a bicycle on the streets of Toronto but he can art and I can’t. However you define it, we always seem to like the same stuff and have similar interests, experiences, and sense of humour. I really appreciated the support he gave me when I went through the
strike “work stoppage” last year. He is passionate about art and his students. I mostly enjoy talking with Fred because he gets as angry as I do about education and sports. He is also very good at giving nicknames that stick (and logos too). I imagine Fred to be the same guy on or off social media, which is something that I always strive to do on Twitter and this blog. The man also delivered this homemade t-shirt to my front door. #MicDrop
The people above have no affiliation with me “in real life” but yet I cannot imagine my life (which is quite real, in my opinion) without them. Our common passion (not in order of importance) for sports, teaching, social media, The Wire, Idris Elba, being a dad is what gravitated me towards these “strangers”. This post will hopefully springboard other “eulogies” for other people that I admire as a teacher.