We love you, David Bruton!
With the NFL stuck in a lockout, David Bruton of the Denver Broncos got tired of sitting around and decided to try teaching.
In April, the football player became a substitute social studies and math teacher at Jane Chance Elementary School and Miamisburg High School (his alma mater) in Ohio.
As first reported on NPR, Bruton says his high school football coach and friends who are teachers encouraged him to make the move. “They saw me as a good role model,” he says. It’s also true that he performed well as a student during his own high school and college years.
The NFL player naturally taught social studies because he majored in sociology at Notre Dame. But math came as a total surprise, he says. The last time Bruton took math courses was his first year in college. “I was definitely in the books, on my iPad looking up how to figure out quadratic equations and finding out angles,” he says.
Calling teachers “the guiding source of our youth,” Bruton says no one in such a position should take it lightly. He describes the challenge of constantly being on the move in classrooms: “You go around, helping them out individually, and you’re constantly using your brain, especially teaching stuff that you — in my position — haven’t done in six years.”
When asked by Amy Ta of NPR if he was more tired at the end of the day from teaching elementary school or from playing football, he did not hesitate: “Elementary school, definitely. I came home, and I passed out. I didn’t walk my dog. He was just sitting there, laying, barking. I was dead.”
He also agreed with his interviewer that teachers should be better compensated.
Again, from NPR:
Bruton also took the chance to paint a different portrait of athletes. “An athlete is not just a bad guy who happens to have a big checkbook. Some guys have a lot of heart and desire, and stuff that they’re made of are different from what people see,” he says. Bruton adds that most stories about athletes are negative, that you may hear about athletes when they get DUIs, but not when they conduct summer camps or organize nationwide Christmas gatherings.
Stars like Magic Johnson, with his charitable organization promoting the health, social, educational and physical well-being of urban youth. have shown that athletes can do a tremendous amount of good, especially amongst the youth for whom they are important role models.
Thank you, David Bruton, for taking teaching seriously and for recognizing the important role that teachers have for children today.
Photo Credit: Jeffrey Beall via Creative Commons