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Morning Person

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It’s hard not to think that Robb Hedges is somehow emblematic of the kind of extreme but quiet dedication exhibited by many teachers. Hedges, a middle school science teacher, is the 2006 Teacher of Year in Carmel, Indiana—and he wakes up at 2 a.m. every day to deliver newspapers. Hedges says taking a second job was the only way he could continue teaching and support his family, which includes two sets of twins, ages 6 and 8. After the younger twins were born, Hedges gave in and took a job in finance for a couple of years. (“My first thought was that I’m going to end up sending four kids through college and paying for three weddings,” he recalls.) When he found out his sister-in-law had cancer, however, he had a realization that life was too short to ignore his true calling. Perhaps not surprisingly, he has a reputation as an engaging and passionate educator whom kids love. “He makes everything relevant to kids and makes science so interesting that kids who may not have had a propensity for science leave his room saying that was their favorite class,” said Steve Stephanoff, the human resources director for the Carmel district. True to form, Hedges said that winning teacher of the year was “humbling.” But he also acknowledged, “It makes getting up at 2 a.m. a lot easier.”

3 Comments

Isn't it sad that to support his family and do what he loves Mr. Hedges has to get up at 2AM to help make ends meet? I wish there was a way to make society see teachers for what we are, respect us, and pay us for what we do. We should earn the same as doctors and lawyers since we shape the future of America.

I was in a similar situation when my twins were born, delivering newspapers in the wee hours of the morning, waiting table on the weekend all so I could teach in the daylight and provide daycare for my children and pay off student loans to continue doing what I love since 1994, working with ED adolescents. I must be ED myself, but I never am bored....
Congradulations on the recognition for your achievements.

I had Mr. Hedges as a teacher this year, and he was the greatest teacher anyone could possibly have. He made learning fun, and he was able to have a sense of humor. No matter what, Mr. Hedges is able to stay calm. Other than all of that, Mr. Hedges is just a great, inspirational guy. He makes a deep impact on everyone he teaches.

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