Alex Trebek – My Hero

I’m sure that many of you are “Jeopardy!” fans and have heard the horrible news that Alex Trebek has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I am devastated.  So are my kids.  So are the many loyal viewers who follow this amazing game show night after night. Alex (and I’m comfortable calling him by his first name since he has come to my living room almost every evening of the week for the past 30 or so years) is, in my mind, a hero.

He has spent most of his professional life encouraging people to ask questions. He knows a lot, but never really seems to flaunt it.  He is serious.  He is smart.  He is committed (After all, has he ever missed a show or shown up late or seemed distracted? No!).

In a recent article in the New York Times, Ken Jennings (Yes, THAT Ken Jennings) describes Alex this way:

“Here’s the belief that lies at the core of Alex’s TV persona:  Jeopardy itself, not he, is the star of the show.  It’s all about the format, the players, the facts, the dissemination of answers and questions.  It’s hard to imagine any modern TV personality deftly avoiding the spotlight like that.”

I love Alex for that.  It’s about the show.  It’s about the work. It’s about the contestants.

It makes me think about our work in schools.  It’s about the kids.  It’s about the learners.  It’s just not about us.

I’m rooting for Alex.  We need heroes like him to stick around.

13 thoughts on “Alex Trebek – My Hero”

  1. It’s an important mantra, and your Alex Trebek insights were spot on. I had not heard that news, as there were other stories that kept my FULL attention yesterday. Love how you weave images of life into your slice.

  2. We Jeopardy fans (and we are legion) are all rooting for him. I like how you made the connection to us in the classroom.

  3. He is a great example of responsible fame and placing the focus on the work, not the person. You’ve given me pause for thought this morning; thank you!

  4. I’ve long been a fan too. My daughters always tease me I should be a contestant. I love his demeanor and the fact that he has kept a show on the air that is just all about curiosity- no politics, no crazy antics, no screaming hosts… just a good workout for the brain brought to us by ALex Trebek’s steady presence and commitment to this half hour program. Hoping he gets the best treatment.

  5. I love how you compare that quote about Alex to the what you do as a coach. It is not really about me the staff developer. It is about the teachers and the learners. I have been working hard to learn this. Alex and you are helping me to keep working on it.

  6. Alex comes into our living room, too! I think I get smarter by having all those smart people in my home! I love the connection of his work to our work – you speak the truth! Thanks for sharing!

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