Friday, October 03, 2008

The Making of a High School Teacher

Mr. Frank worked in Crappy Junior High School as a TPD, an old name for an unappointed pedagogue working temporary-per-diem to fill those ubiquitous wooden teacher chairs. He had one class that was particularly unruly. This was a remarkable class in that they'd burned through a dozen teachers in less that two months.

Mr. Frank was determined not to follow in their footsteps. He noticed that one of the big trouble spots was the back door, from which various of his students would escape, and large numbers of his students' friends would enter. He also noticed a portable closet which the custodians had dumped into the room. Mr. Frank moved the closet against the back door, blocking it completely.

After two weeks, the class gave up on Mr. Frank. He wasn't going anywhere, so they reluctantly sat down. A passing administrator dropped in and commented, "I've never seen this class quiet before."

The administrator went back to her office and marveled over Mr. Frank's uncanny abilities. She then roamed the school again, selected the five most unruly classes in the building, and rewrote them into a schedule, with which she presented Mr. Frank the following day.

Mr. Frank responded by walking two blocks to the nearest high school. He told the principal that he wanted to teach at that level, that he'd teach any classes whatsoever, and that he'd be very grateful if they could offer him anything. As it happened, the prinicipal was impressed by his initiative, and gave him a program immediately.

The administrator at Crappy JHS told Mr. Frank he couldn't do this. Mr. Frank replied he was not appointed, that not only could he do it, but that he had already done it. She withheld Mr. Frank's check for a month until she received a mildly threatening letter from Mr. Frank's cousin, a lawyer.

And over twenty years later, Mr. Frank is still teaching high school.
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