Dear Claire,

Thank you for being so willing to let me be your long-term sub while you’re out on Maternity leave. Of course, I’ll work closely with Adriana to keep our lessons and class culture consistent, something that you can swiftly absorb when you return in November.

I gotta be honest. I’m equal parts thrilled and terrified.


Two and a half years ago, I left the classroom in March to become a P.D. Specialist. Since then, I’ve found ways to stay connected to classes and get student contact several times a week.


It’s just not the same.

Don’t get me wrong; I love my job. I have the freedom to do whatever teachers need done, to travel through the 13 schools in Bonita USD as often as needed, and to write blogs and prep workshops on the clock. I love being a tech coach and getting home before 5:00 every day with emotional energy left for my family.


I really miss the high highs and low lows of teaching. You—Claire—have asked me if I like coaching more than teaching. There’s no comparison; teaching is the best and hardest job in the world.

As a coach I have less days that are 10s, but I also have less days that are terrible.

Black points are teaching days, orange are coaching days.

Black points are teaching days, orange are coaching days.

I miss those high highs a lot.



I’ve been out of the game for 30 months. In the time since I’ve left the classroom,

  • One Direction lost a member
  • Pokemon GO has been invented
  • The Pauly D haircut has phased out in favor of the Macklemore haircut
  • #blacklivesmatter has given voice to the oppressed around the world
  • I’ve had two more kids
  • I’ve written a book and given a few dozen workshops to teachers across the country
  • Donald Trump has become a viable candidate for President
  • #mtbos has grown to be an educational powerhouse

Shortly after college, the captain of my college Ultimate team called me. “There’s a beach Ultimate tournament in January. Wanna play?”


The whole team was “wicked stoked.” We got together in the early morning to warm up, high-fiving and spinning discs in the sand.

Six minutes later, half the team was wheezing and begged the captain to slow down. “Dude, you might still be in shape,” an accountant from San Jose huffed. “But the rest of us aren’t as fit as we were in 2007.”

I haven’t had a parent conference, offered a test retake, or debated the fairness of a senior’s grade in years.

Is this quarter in my class going to be a beach Ultimate tournament? How much have my teaching muscles atrophied in the last 30 months?

Claire, I’ll have an answer for you by September.

~Matt “Pulled a hammie” Vaudrey