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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Stanley, the Teacher

Stanley wrote:

Dear Rod,

I'm not sure why I'm writing you because I know I'll get some bad advice that will get me in trouble at work. Yet, I thought I would give it a try to see what you have to say.

I'm a middle school teacher at a metro middle school. I have a group of three boys who are giving me a terrible time. They talk aloud during class, tweet and text on their cell phones, tell off colored jokes, threaten the other kids at times. They seldom pay attention. And this past week they put gum on my desk chair and I sat right in it. Of course, everybody in the class knew about it except me, until it was too late. It was so embarrassing when I tried to stand up. The whole class roared with laughter.

I don't know what to do. I thought about suspending them, but I really don't want to kick anyone out of class. I know the principle would suspend them from school. What do you think I should do?

Dear Stanley,

Very interesting. I think you have several options. Have you laid awake at night upon your bed thinking about ways to get even? Have you thought about what life might be like if you weren't a teacher? Have you thought about killing the little brats? Have you imagined yourself in prison the rest of your life. Stanley, one thing you can do is quit your teaching job before it's too late. Oh, I know, you'll have to give up the big government pension. But do you know how much money a guy makes in prison?

Another option, Stanley, is to go to the board of education. Every school had a board when I was a kid. Some of the teachers had them, too. I remember my second grade teacher, Ms. Barstad, whose board was a pointer stick. She had me lay my fingers across the desk before she whacked them 10 times. Mr. Williams, my 7th grade teacher, had a board, too. His had a handle, was four inches wide, an inch thick, and had holes drilled in it. I think he made it in shop. That board of education, when used properly had a lot of influence. Then there was Mr. Tonish, our principle. His board of education was about the same as Mr. Williams only bigger. And Mr. Tonish was bigger, too. Ouch! I think back in that day the school supply company must have had an assortment of paddles that the teachers could choose from.

Then my last suggestion would be to get even. When these boys talk aloud in class you should talk at the same time, only louder. When they don't pay attention to you, you don't pay attention to them. When they disrupt the class, you disrupt the class more. When they tell off colored jokes, you tell even more off colored jokes. When they tweet on their cell phones, you tweet back at them. When they threaten the other kids, you threaten them. And last of all, chew some gum and put it on their seat.

Write me and let me know how these things work out.

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