I teach at .
is just two miles away. You would think that they could
come up with more original names. I guess Osbourn was a very important person
in this area.
A couple of years ago, a teacher at Osbourn named Karl died of a heart attack
while teaching. As the story broke on the news, my friends’ wife pulled over
her car crying because she thought it was me.
That’s touching. Thank god that didn’t happen to me, although I once passed out
in front of my class (I had forgotten to eat breakfast that day. When it
happened, my students thought I was joking). It sounds like a horrible way to
go though. In front of your students? Sad. I can’t help wondering if his
students thought he was joking too.
This summer, another teacher at Osbourn got fired after getting students drunk
and taking advantage of them. Horrible story. I credit Osbourn for being the
school that finally caught him. He’d been doing it for 20 years
bouncing from school to school until he was finally caught. This teacher was
friends with many of his students on Facebook and followed others on Twitter.
We’re told not to friend our students on Facebook. It seems pretty obvious, but
every year a couple of students send me friend requests. I politely refuse.
So when I took my students to the and heard, “Google Kronlage,” I
Would Facebook come up? My Twitter account? Would I get a barrage of friend
requests the next day? I tried to think of something intelligent to say, don’t
you have anything better to do than Google your teacher, but said something
like, “The paragraphs are due at the end of class. Until I get yours…”
“Mr. Kronlage, you wrote a book!”
“Are you sure that’s not the Mr. Kronlage that teaches at Osbourn?” I asked.
“Very funny. What’s it called? You never told us that you wrote a book.”
“Of course I did. Don’t you remember when I told you about my first book,
“This one’s called Saint Peter Killed God,” another student called out.
We are not supposed to preach to our students. When I bring up the rumors
surrounding Psalm 46 in the King James Bible and Shakespeare, one of my students
usually complains that I'm teaching religion. That’s not preaching, but my book
does. I could imagine my student’s parents complaining about how Mr. Kronlage
is promoting his book in class, etc.
I looked over one of my student’s should and saw that he found my interview in
the school paper, which now posts our newspaper online. What do you say when
half of your 32 students are suddenly looking up your interview? Before words
came to my mouth, I hear, “So you’re KJ Kron?”
“Look, he has a Twitter account and a blog. Too bad the school blocks it.”
“Yeah, but according to this interview he feels awkward about having a Twitter
So now they’re reading Slush Pile Reader. I notice a couple of students pulling
up Saint Peter Killed God on SPR and Authonomy. “Is your book any good?”
“It’s the best one I wrote,” I said. “But I’m not sure what you’d think of it.
After reading 1984 and Brave New World, how can my book compare?”
“I hated those books Mr. Kronlage.”
I teach pre-AP students. Most of them are in sports or some after school
activity. They have a couple hours of homework a night. They text or play a
video game whenever they get a free moment. I doubt they have a lot of extra
My fears were unfounded. I’m sure they forgot about my book shortly after the
bell rang. Only one student decided to follow me on Twitter. When I looked at
his tweets, he tweeted something disparaging about his math teacher.
I usually follow people who follow me on Twitter, except for some porn site that
decided to follow me. And now I’m not following my students either. After all, I’m
not like that former teacher at Osbourn.
To read OPHS article about KJ Kron, click the link below: