Motivation, Videos

When Teaching Meets the Unknown: Navigating the Twilight Zone

It’s National Teacher Appreciation Week in the United States this week (May 8-12), and I was browsing through a calendar of special days in May only to discover that May 11 is “Twilight Zone Day.” Coincidence? I think not.

So, I thought I would see if there were any Twilight Zone episodes about teachers. And there were. The first one that came up is called, “Changing of the Guard.” “Great!” I thought. “Let’s find some clips.”

So when I caution you not to recklessly watch old Twilight Zone clips during your procrastinatory moments, you should definitely take that advice to heart. The first clip that I watched from the episode had me in tears. And not the good kind. (Side note — who knew “procastinatory” was actually a word? I was as surprised as you when I typed it and didn’t get a vicious, red underline beneath it.)

“Changing of the Guard” is a about a professor who has been forced to retire, and he definitely does not feel good about it. He muses that he has accomplished nothing in his life and becomes deeply depressed. The worst kind of depressed.

But just as he decides that it’s all too much to bear, standing beside the grave of Horace Mann, the school bell rings again and he finds himself back in the classroom for a reunion with former students.

I don’t want to give too much away. But let’s just say I cried again. The good kind of tears, or mostly good anyway.

If you want to see what happened, here is the clip I recommend. Just do not say I didn’t warn you to have a box of tissues nearby.

Fun fact: Rod Serling began teaching college courses in his 40’s, and continued until his death at the early age of 50.

Oh, and it’s also “Eat What You Want Day,” which seems like a fortunate confluence of events. Celebrate them all. Tell the teachers who made a difference to you (because I promise you that most of us have no idea whether we made an impact or not), eat a great big doughnut, and take this advice from Rod Serling:

Teachers: Don’t forget to sign up for a chance to win a free, self-paced course by midnight, May 12, 2023! More info here!