I was that kid in high school. Too smart for my own good, too geeky to fit in with the cool kids, and too athletic to be one of the nerds. While I certainly didn’t lack in friends, I didn’t really fit anywhere. The exception was one very special classroom on the second floor of Butte High School.
It wasn’t just about Chris Fisk’s teaching style. I enjoyed his classes and his hands on approach to learning, but he wasn’t the only teacher I liked at Butte High School. He also wasn’t the only educator who taught me something besides the subject they were paid to teach. I was blessed to have many wonderful teachers over the years. But somehow, walking into his classroom was magical.
Looking back now, I think it had more to do with the attitude of total acceptance. It didn’t matter if you were the prom queen, or the homeless student living in their car. Everyone was welcome, everyone was treated exactly the same. (Of course, that meant equal opportunity harassment!) As a student, it opened my eyes to many new concepts. In that classroom, I learned about working with people that had talents outside of book learning; that sometimes, it’s okay for your classmate to sleep during lectures, because maybe they’re afraid to sleep at home; and that life is much easier to face with a sense of humor.
Today, Mr. Fisk came into the radio station to do Partyline. The discussion was all about the Kenyon- Connell Warehouse Disaster, and the memorial that the Montana History Club, and the newly formed, Butte Historical Memorials group plan on erecting in their honor. There will be a dedication ceremony at the old fire station on Granite Street, starting at 1pm on Sunday, January 14th. Understand that by showing up, you’re showing support for more than the families of the 57 people killed in the disaster. You’re also showing support for the kids who are learning those same life lessons, and showing support for teachers like Chris Fisk, who have found a way to inspire their students.