Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Calling Linda

Mr. Greenberg was having a rough week. His class of 42 was going to stay a class of 42, and worse, his classroom didn't really fit 42. Kids were sitting almost in one another's laps. There were no rows, there was no semicircle, just a bunch of kids sitting well within copying distance, and how on earth was he ever going to give a test? What about the kids on the windowsill with unobstructed views of ten or twelve papers?

Even worse, Linda, who sat right in front of him, had the biggest mouth he'd ever heard, and broadcasted her opinions on everything on a more or less constant basis. He'd tried talking with her, he'd tried having others talk to her, and now he was desperately trying to contact her home. But she'd insisted she didn't have a home phone, and said since her mother was a teacher, he couldn't reach her at work either.

Mr. Greenberg checked the computer, which led him to a non-working number. He went to the medical office and checked her emergency numbers. Two didn't work, and one led him to a Chinese speaker. Mr. Greenberg doubted anyone in her home spoke Chinese.

The next day, Linda once again said her mom was a teacher, and a much better one than Mr. Greenberg to boot. Mr. Greenberg smiled, said it was probably true, and asked which school Linda's mom taught at. To his surprise, she told him.

"But you'll never get her on the phone," she added.

Mr. Greenberg decided to try anyway. He looked up the number, asked to speak to Linda's mom, and somehow wound up connected with the principal's office. He told the principal of his problem, and asked to please have Linda's mom contact him. The principal said he'd do that.

The next morning, as Mr. Greenberg was preparing for class, Linda's mom came, asked if he was Mr. Greenberg, and proceeded to let him know how things were.

"Don't you ever, EVER call my school again!" she warned.

Mr. Greenberg considered asking for her phone number. Then he got another idea.

"If Linda acts out in class today, I will call your school today. If she acts out tomorrow, I will call tomorrow. Every day she acts out, I will call your school. Thank you for coming."

To Mr. Greenberg's surprise, she walked out quietly. That day, Linda behaved well in his class. The next day, she behaved well yet again. On the third day, Mr. Greenberg discovered Linda had transferred to another school.
blog comments powered by Disqus