Interview: Mr. Durham and The Teachers’ Secrets


By Malorie Kahn

My goal during my interview with Mr. Durham was to try and find out more about teachers. The stuff students never thought of considering. I think the results were very surprising in some ways. I decided to ask questions that students were curious about. Here are the results.

Q: Do you talk about your students with other teachers?

A: Yes, we talk about successes and failures and sometimes when we’re surprised about things students do, we’ll talk about that as well. We try not to bash students. We sometimes are honestly hurt by dishonesty from students and things like that and we’ll discuss things like that as well.

Q: What do you talk about in meetings and the teachers’ lounge?

A: In meetings, we talked mostly about curriculum. What’s worked well for other teachers. Stuff like that. In the teacher’s lounge, we talk about movies a lot. Mr. Potter tries to make people laugh. It’s a lot like how you guys spend your lunch, like hanging with friends. Meetings are focused on a task.

Q: What do you do outside of school in a social aspect?

A: I do a lot of stuff with family, especially movies, I’m big on movies. I go on dates with my wife a lot. I also hang out with other teachers like Mr. Potter and Mrs. Rallison. I also go dancing sometimes.

Q: If you could change school policies, would you? And which ones?

A: I do wish I could change some school policies. I wish sometimes that I could hold students more accountable for their actions. I wish that parents couldn’t excuse as many absences as they can. Also, I wish I could wear what I want, like casual t-shirts.

Q: When you were in high school, did you ever see yourself as a teacher?

A: No, I never saw myself as a teacher. I wanted to be a writer, so it’s not far from what I wanted to do.

Q: Are teachers aware of how students feel about them or how they talk about them?

A: Some teachers are aware of the way people feel about them. Sometimes students will email or tweet about us and how much they appreciate us. Sometimes though, they have no idea. Sometimes you’ll have students that seem like they hate you, but then they end up loving the class and saying that it was their favorite.

Q: If you weren’t a teacher, what would you be?

A: I wish a writer of some kind. Like a screenwriter or memoirs. Any kind of writer really. I would love to write something that I’m comfortable with sending to an editor. That’s the goal.