Book - Brad Jackson telling Stories at Camp TecumsehBrad Jackson was a revelation in my student teaching year.  As the science teacher on the team, I got to see him close up and he was everything that I wanted to be as a teacher: off-beat, engaging, caring, energetic, project-based, and iconic.  In fact, one of my assignments to my student teaching year kids was to prove to me that Mr. Jackson was not an alien.  I based my belief on the fact he talked to birds, understood the intricacies of science, and during a parent meeting with a new family that spoke no English he suddenly burst out in Spanish to talk to them.

Brad is the reason that Camp Tecumseh has remained a viable program.  His energy and unwavering support have helped keep this one-of-kind program alive.  He still comes up to tell stories for our school even though it is a long drive.  Typical Brad; no complaints and no expectation for accolades.  He is least self-serving individual in my adult life.

Brad hates when people call attention to him; too bad.  He has been important in the lives of so many teachers and students.  He is an institution.  Every year he continues to teach is a gain for our district and students.   I have learned a lot from him; the two most important being “if you love your students, you can forgive them” and “tell the people that are important to you how much you appreciate them”.  The first lesson has been centerpiece of my classroom management.  The second one is the impetus of Camp Tecumseh tradition of saying goodbye to seniors, my sometimes long yearbook notes, staying behind to tell performers how proud of am of them, and this Summer of Thanks.

So thank you my friend.