Mr. Schlesinger is one of Graded’s most cherished Biology teachers. It’s the Science Department member’s fourth year at Graded. In recognition of this man, a tale of Rob Schlesinger’s life seemed like an appropriate fit.
Rob Schlesinger was born in a year that must remain disclosed for numerous purposes, in a suburb outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota as the youngest of three. He grew up with two rebellious older sisters and very hard-working parents; his father was a contractor and his mother a Junior High secretary. Due to the many hours, his parents spent at work, Mr. S described himself as having been “quite a feral kid.” (for those of you who, like me, don’t know what feral means, Mr. S has described himself as of/relating to a wild beast.). With this freedom, the “wild beast” ran around a lot with his friends and spend a large amount of time playing basketball at the school gym. With his mom working in schools and many of his friends having parents who were teachers, he got quite a positive outlook on school. In fact, he “really liked school,” and stated that “as a student, he thinks he found a lot of success.” Mr. S claimed that he found a lot of safety in school, and thanks to learning from his older sister’s mistakes, he considers himself to have been a good student.
Initially, his love for science (especially biology… shocker) had him believe he wanted to become a doctor. However, after he began applying to medical schools, he realized that medicine was simply not his passion, so he took a small break and turned to bartending. During his time juggling drinks and discovering new things, he took an interest in his buddies who were attending teacher’s college. Given his past, he felt like teaching may, in fact, be a spectacular pathway for him. As a people-oriented person, he loved the idea of working with children and doing work that he looked up to so much as a child.
His first job as a teacher was at a middle school in a more impoverished area in the city of St. Paul, Minnesota. While teaching, there was a Learning Disabilities teacher named Laura who was at his classes quite often. He even had a class with 30 kids and about 20 of them where her students!
“Obviously she was super attracted to me, you know; I’m me, so she couldn’t resist. And she kept on hitting on me over and over and over again and I was like, I can’t be tied down, you know, but eventually, I relented…”
After the extravagant Schlesinger wedding, Mrs. S became pregnant with their first son, Jack. Due to their newborn, Mrs. S felt as if she had to stay home for a while, but unfortunately, being a teacher in the United States is economically difficult. However, Mr. S rushed to his family’s rescue and went to get his administrator’s license, and fortunately got a job as an assistant principal! His 6 months-long experience with “it was… it was terrible. It was absolutely terrible. Everyone hates you, parents hate you, kids hate you, your teachers hate you, it just feels like… miserable… and so then we were like ok no, I’m not gonna do this.”
The Schlesingers decided to visit an international job fair, and both ended up getting jobs in Saudi Arabia at a school. Even though this seemed like an outstanding opportunity, both Mr. S and Ms. S’s parents were both quite scared, claiming that, “AHHHH! OH MY GOSH! The Middle East!! So scary!!”, but the experience proved to be a blast as “the school was really good, and it was actually super safe”. Mr. S admitted that it was very hard to get teachers to take jobs in Saudi due to the fear of danger, yet, “once they were there, they were fine.” After six years, the family decided that they wanted to continue traveling, and took a job at Graded in São Paulo. They’re very happy here and plan to stay here for another three years. After this, they want to travel to a new destination, where they hope to stay until their 2nd grader daughter graduates. When both kids are in college, the Schlesingers hope to simply live life, and see where their journey takes them.