Friday, May 21, 2010

Lessons Learned

Mr. Doppler was teaching English.  This was not such a bad thing.  He spoke English, and heard it pretty much everywhere he went, so it didn't represent much of a hardship.  But he wondered whether or not they should have assigned him to teach the senior thesis project.  After all, he was a gym teacher, and the last time he had done a senior thesis, or even read one, well, he couldn't remember.

But the kids weren't concerned.

"Don't worry mister," they assured him.  "We're seniors.  We don't have to do anything."

That didn't sound good to Mr. Doppler.  But he plodded through the book the English AP had given him.  One day five kids were absent.  The next day seven.  More and more, kids disappeared.  They didn't do homework.  Except for three.  They did everything.

When the paper was due, twelve of the 34 kids in the class submitted papers.  The three working kids did very well, Mr. Doppler thought.  He gave them grades of 100.

A few of the others who had cut fewer than fifty times managed to pass, though Mr. Doppler felt he was overly generous.  The ones who handed in papers with the AOL logo still on them he didn't pass.  It was ridiculous, he thought.  So he failed almost everyone.

The principal approached him.  "Mr. Doppler, we don't have room for all of those kids.  You have to pass them all."

So he did.  And waddya know, the kids were right.

But he never taught English again.
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