Friday, April 8, 2011

Who Not to Follow on Twitter

 I teach at Osbourn Park High School.

Osbourn High School 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 computer lab 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, 
Pinkie System.”

“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 tried.

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:


  1. Nice piece. I think your students would enjoy it. Probably best not to risk it though.
    Moody Writing

  2. Some porn site decided to follow you, eh? The worst I've got is an obsessive body builder and someone who writes entirely in Greek. You are obviously far more interesting :-)

  3. You paint quite the picture! I can imagine the cringe-worthiness attached to this at the time! Oh the joys of the net, it's bitter sweet! But nice to know your easy to find on Google!