R.S. Williams

All I want is to get the words right.

Wherever Someone’s in Need

Three years ago today, I submitted final grades for the last time—and, to celebrate, posted on Facebook this photo of my 1960s neon Pabst Blue Ribbon bar sign. While I miss my former students, my friends, and the steady (if small) paychecks, I don’t miss teaching. At all. Ever.

In some ways, though, I’m still teaching. For example: Most of this week has seen me helping people figure out how to do the things that confuse or frighten them—and figure it out through writing. I’ve helped people’s ideas take shape on the printed page, whether in plain text or as part of a graphic layout. I’ve talked people through the stories they’re afraid to write, when their dreams literally point them toward taking greater creative risks. In a sea of disinformation, I’ve helped people find the knowledge they need to make hard decisions.

In 2015, I walked out of the classroom, and I haven’t looked back. But when I think about my own writing, and how I’ve used what I know to help others, I know that the classroom isn’t always in a school building. The classroom is wherever someone’s in need.

© R.S. Williams (all rights reserved)


  1. Love this!

  2. I paraphrase a pundit: Don’t let your schooling get in the way of your education. I’ve found myself much more in the teacher role since I gave up the moniker. By the same token, I’ve also found myself more squarely seated in the student chair. I’m grateful for both, but if I’m honest I wouldn’t mind a break from both and a chance to just be. But that falls away when I remember what honor and luxury it is to count those my complaints. Keep doing what you do ’cause you do good.

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