'Why I Teach': Educator Learned Empathy From His Teacher Mom

Aug 18, 2015

Pat Lorenz raised her son Chris Orlando to 'imagine what it would be like to walk in someone else's shoes'.
Credit Julia Szabo / KCUR


Name: Chris Orlando
Number of years teaching: 4
Grade: 8th
School: Southwest Middle School (Lawrence)

"You taught me the skill of empathy really early on."

For 7th grade Social Studies teacher Chris Orlando, teaching isn’t about facts; it’s about building relationships with students and teaching life skills. This drive, Orlando says, comes from the relationship with his mom, Pat Lorenz, who has been an educator for more than 30 years. 

Pat, an early childhood paraprofessional at Kennedy Elementary in Lawrence, sat down to talk with her son about what drew him to teaching and what keeps him excited each year.

This story is part of KCUR's 'Teaching It Forward' project, which looks deeply at the changing nature of the teaching profession in the Kansas City metro.