Prologue

“I’ve been teaching for thirty years and I love my job,” Paul Tamburello declares.

Grasping their stories about a time they overcame adversity, twenty one children sit cross-legged in a circle on the grey, tired-looking rug. A tattered sign of manila paper with the words “Working Hard Feels Good” in faded magic marker stands vigil in the back of the room.

It’s a warm morning in early June, and the countdown to summer vacation has hit single digits. Nearby classrooms hum with teachers’ pre-school preparations. The air shimmers with the students’ nervous anticipation.

“I just want to thank you for your support of your children,” he says to the parents. “They have challenged themselves in this story and throughout the year, and seen growth as a reward. I am very proud of them and know that you are, too.”

CONTINUE READING

Chapter List

  1. hookCaptain Hook

    1

  2. Jeff and Steve Doran on the first day of school, 1974 (Photo courtesy of Paul Tamburello)The Year

    2

  3. Some of Paul Tamburello’s former students come back for a visit to their old classroom and former teacher. (Photo courtesy of Paul Tamburello)In Between

    3

  4. accidentThe Accident

    4

  5. recessFirst Recess Aide

    5

  6. Learning-the-MechanicsLearning the Mechanics

    6

  7. Jeff and Paul dress up for Halloween at Pierce School. (Photo courtesy of Paul Tamburello)Parent-Teacher Conferences

    7

  8. Stumbling and Nearly FallingStumbling and Nearly Falling

    8

  9. Jeff_Family001Making It Through

    9

  10. Jeff_Family007Second Year

    10

  11. Elena, Paul and Judi Tamburello in Paul's classroom at Pierce School (Photo courtesy of Paul Tamburello)Visiting Mrs. Tamburello

    11

  12. ClassroomGetting My Own Classroom

    12

  13. Paul Tamburello kneels next to the bike he rode on the Positive Spin for ALS fundraising bike rides. (Photo courtesy of Paul Tamburello)Hearing the News

    13

  14. Boston MarathonBoston Marathon

    14

  15. A hug after my speech. (Photo courtesy of Jon Lowenstein)Retirement

    15

  16. EpilogueEpilogue