Mr. Rickety is about 60 years old. He wears three-piece suits to school every day, and takes my homeroom/first period hoods second period for Health class. He always shakes my hand each morning. "How are you progressing Mr. G?" he asked today.
"I get about 20 minutes of teaching done each class*," was my response. He laughed.
"Sheeee-it, son. Don't overexert yourself. That's better than most. I must say you've got your homeroom somewhat under control."
I laughed at this.
I'm the only teacher on the entire 3rd floor who has a pencil sharpener in his room. Cha bought it for me from Staples, and it is "tight" as the kids would say. Of course I have a steady stream of faculty and students from other classes now coming into my room during instruction time in order to sharpen their pencils. The teacher next door to me is red-hot, and whenever she comes in I have a hard time keeping my first period boys under control. They fall apart like the wolf in a Tex Avery cartoon. What a mess. I'ma buy Miss J. her own damn sharpener.
My 3rd class was so disruptive three days in a row that I broke out the guilt trip, and laid it down heavy. "How many kids in the City have a former college professor to teach them? How many? You told me on your surveys last week that you hated when teachers didn't teach you anything. I can't teach you if you won't let me." They did their work quietly. They let me read them "The Monkey's Paw" without interruption. They engaged in meaningful talk about the story afterward. I won't get my hopes up until we get through Chekov's "The Bet" later this week...(and no, I won't show them any clips from The Simpsons as a reward for good behavior. I would NEVER show a DVD to my class, "fair use" or no. We are only permitted to show approved vids available via Discovery Channel in the classroom. Anyone who gets the impression I would ever show The Simpsons to my class is misunderstanding the parodic intent of my posts. Take that, copyright trolls).
*We have 90 minute classes.