The Crossing Guard Chronicles: New School Year and The ‘Curbside Classroom’

I stood resolute at my post, the early morning calm about to be broken by the approaching din of young voices and squeaky bicycles, a familiar and welcoming sound. It’s the first day of the new school year in Brighton, New York.

I stood prepared, blue book in hand, to take names and review notes, notes to refresh my memory of ‘old faces’ and add new names for new faces. As a school crossing guard, these are ‘my kids’ for the next ten months, learning their names is important.

And the ‘Curbside Classroom’ is reopened for business.

“Pick a card! Point it in the direction according to its label: North, South, East or West!”


That was the first day of school, a month ago, and I’m getting better with names, and the kids know we cross in an easterly direction.

It’s my job to see the kids make it safely across this section of busy roadway. A byproduct is to pick up a little knowledge along the way and start the day with a smile.

Students are familiar with my routine: expect questions, expect challenges, expect to learn something and expect to laugh. Remember, this spot along a busy roadway is a classroom, too, a ‘curbside classroom’.

In the month that has passed, we’ve discussed words and meanings (moot vs mute), the power of positive words (‘encouragement’…’some people have done more than they thought they could because others thought they could’…Zig Ziglar), setting lofty goals, like going to Mars (‘do you think we will land a person on Mars in your lifetime?’), and other sundry topics

A couple of boys have become teens since the first day, so we serenaded them with ‘Happy Birthday’. Remember being 13? There’s a gaggle of new middle school students whose confidence is growing. At the opposite pole are Seniors with pending decisions. Will it be college and the selection of a career path, or joining the workforce, maybe a military option? It’s nice to have plans but they’re still so very young.

Some things haven’t changed, though, since the end of the last school year, especially the smiles and the enthusiasm to learn or be challenged. So, pick a card and point it in the right direction. Directions are important, we need to know where we’re going in Life.

Together, we’ll go through the school year in heat, cold, rain and snow. We’ll cheer for ‘snow days’, high-five Fridays’, stress over exam days and continue to build strong foundations to support us when we finally ‘arrive at our destination’.

It all begins with a ‘good morning ‘ and a smile at our ‘Curbside Classroom’! Wish us well…

Steve (Oct 2019)

‘S’amusing’ blog at ‘’

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Retired in 2013 after 5 years as an elementary school teacher and 40 years as a sales representative to begin anew as a school crossing guard. SMy essays/stories are a way to communicate through the telling of personal experiences. One reader said about my blog stories, "...these are like a cold sip during a marathon run, simple, real life events". Another offered about my blog, “it brings some sense of normalcy not easily found in the modern world.”

49 thoughts on “The Crossing Guard Chronicles: New School Year and The ‘Curbside Classroom’”

    1. And in the afternoon. But the morning is when I have their best attention. I’m fortunate to have wonderful kids to cross. They’re polite and sincerely eager to listen to my ‘lectures’.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I was so pleased to see this post pop up on my Reader, Steve. I was starting to wonder if WP had unfollowed me somehow as I hadn’t seen a post for a while. Sounds like you are off to a great new school year. Enjoy every minute of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Steve,
    You have a way with the pen and the students! Your day starts with a sunrise and smiles! Thanks for keeping our kids safe and informed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maggie, thank you very much for reblogging my story and especially your kind words. One morning, we talked about the importance of ‘encouraging’ others. Well, your support certainly encourages me to keep writing. I so glad that you liked what I wrote. I hope is well with you Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jennie. I’ve been in a writing funk so it took awhile to put something decent on paper to share. The new students (6th graders) are getting used to me and our morning ‘exercises’. It’s been a good start of the school year.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on A Teacher's Reflections and commented:
    Steve the Crossing Guard is back to his ‘Curbside Classroom’ for another school year. What he brings to children is nothing short of amazing. Yes, Steve, as you said so well, “Directions are important. We need to know where we’re going in life.” Thank you for pointing children in the right direction. Read on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jennie. Did you know that on this day, Oct 7, in 1913, Henry Ford introduced the first moving assembly line. Some kids thought that was pretty cool when I told them this morning. I bet some will remember it. Learning and smiling go together. Thanks for your support, Jennie.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Fabulous, Steve! I did not know that about Henry Ford. Thank goodness you did and shared that with the kids. Yes, some will definitely remember. That feels good. I love your words, “learning and smiling go together.” They have been added to my collection of quotations. The thanks go to you, I’m the lucky recipient and want to scream to the world that your teaching is the best… because it is.


    1. If you were, then you would have heard this news this morning: ‘On this day in 1913, The Ford Motor Co debuted the first moving assembly line’. Remarkably, during this afternoon’s crossing after school, a few kids were talking about it. You’re not a kid, but now you know. Thanks for the nice comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is awesome, Steve. I love how you connect with the kids; they must adore you. Your story is an excellent reminder to all educators to use the resources around you. Bus drivers, playground supervisors, cafeteria workers, crossing guards, etc., are aware of things that the classroom teacher may not know. I speak from experience, Steve, as I taught thirty-one years in elementary school and regularly consulted the support staff.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I caught sight of your post on Jennie’s blog and had to pop over. It took a while as my time to read and write is more minimal than I’d like. Hopefully, autumn and winter will give me more time to enjoy your curbside classroom too. I doubt there are any other crossing guards going the extra mile you go with their charges or take it as seriously. I’m glad you are out there adding wonder to those challenging minds. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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