I wish I had a picture of John Rogers....I wish I'd told him how important he was to me. However, we work with what we've got.
John Rogers taught General Science at Hawthorne Junior High in Lorain; he'd been there so long, my mother and aunts had had him for 7th Grade GenSci. I first met him when I was nine, when Ma took us to his house for Trick-or-Treat that year, a short, stocky man with greying hair, twinkling eyes, and a walrus mustashe, the first real one I'd ever seen. He and his wife handed out candy, and he told me he'd be looking for me in three years.
That first day of class, we watched as he walked into the room, and ensconced himself behind the desk, next to the big aquarium. He picked up the textbook from atop the desk, and said, "This is the textbook for General Science, 7th Grade".
Then, he opened one of the drawers, dropped the book into it, and said,
"We may refer to it from time to time."
He began to speak....of the pyramids, and the engineering that went into them, winding up forty-five minutes later with the Apollo space program, all of it connected, and interspersed with questions directed at random into the class, about what was just said, what was in the news, and what we thought of it all, what did it mean in relation to the last topic?
This is how he taught....except, he didn't teach so much as show us how to learn. Every day in his class was an adventure, and I'd walk out of there with my head buzzing.
Years after I left Hawthorne, I'd drop by that house on 7th Street, and visit with this local treasure, just to feel my head buzz again.
Are there still teachers like Mr. John Rogers? I pray so.