Keynote Address: Teacher Ms., Teacher Man


Teacher Ms., Teacher Man (If I Knew Then . . .)

Keynote Address by Jock Mackenzie

Every teacher has the potential to be a superhero to a student. You will sing the song (to the tune of Spiderman), perhaps wear the T-shirt, be actively involved with all of your senses, and be reminded that the job of teaching can be one of the most rewarding careers in the world. Enjoy a fun-filled, action-packed walk down Memory Lane that looks back on four decades of teaching. Laugh along as you listen to anecdotes and poetry about how you spend your life as a teacher. By tying together the lessons learned, the struggles and triumphs, and experiences only educators can appreciate, each audience member will be sure to come away being proud to be a teacher – and learn a handful of helpful hints.

The “Teacher Man” song has three versions: Teacher Man, Teacher Ma’am, and Teacher Ms. A karaoke style is used at the opening of the keynote with audience members being encouraged to sing along. Throughout the song, audience members who have been given t-shirts in advance, pop up around the room to show that everyone has the potential for super hero status.

As Jock reviews his four decades in teaching, music and pictures from both his career and the world around us are used to add extra zip to the presentation. As any differentiated lesson would do, this keynote appeals to a variety of learning styles and should be a powerful addition to any teacher gathering.

A Few Words of Explanation

The front of the t-shirt is a joke, a tribute, and a list of my educational and life philosophies. The joke is the TM which stands for Teacher Man (I also have a Teacher Ms. t-shirt) and is also the “trademark” logo. The tribute comes in the outer circle which is made up of the names of people near and dear to me: my wife, children, relatives, friends, and teaching colleagues. The T and the M are made up of these statements: BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE, SMALL STEPS, TAKE TURNS, SHARE THE SECRET HANDSHAKE, ALL IS NOT AS IT APPEARS, IT’S A GRAY WORLD, BE TRUE TO YOUR SCHOOL, I AM A SPECIAL PERSON, THE WAY IT SHOULD BE, MAKE THE WORLD BETTER, TALK ABOUT THEIR HORSES, THINKING INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE BOX.

The back of the t-shirt has the words to the song. The picture shows the TEACHER MAN lyrics. The TEACHER MS. lyrics are almost identical, but begin with “Teacher Ms. Teacher Ms. Always happy with what she is.


Teacher Man

Teacher Man, Teacher Man,
Always follows his lesson plan.
Pure of heart, good and kind,
Educational mastermind,
Look there –
There goes the Teacher Man.

Can he teach?
Listen, bud,
Teachin’ and learnin’ are in his blood.
When in need, don’t forget
He’s the underdog’s safety net.
You there –
Are you the Teacher Man?

In the hall, the class,
When the truth isn’t clear,
Mumble, “Sassafras.”
Teacher Man will appear!

Teacher Man, Teacher Man,
Friend of every school, Teacher Man.
Payday comes,
He’s ignored.
Helping is his reward.

To him, school is a microcosm,
Filled with enthusiasm,
Go be a Teacher Man!

Here are some video clips From Jock’s presentations

Palliser Teachers’ Convention, Calgary, Alberta

Acting Out An Essay – Montreal, Quebec

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