A teacher abruptly enters stands in front of the class
Teacher: OK class OK OK Calm yourselves. OK, quiet, better, good. Eyes front.
You are in third grade youre not little second graders and I expect you all to act as adults. Now class, Im sure you noticed that Tammy did not come back from lunch with the rest of you. I sent her to the office so we could talk about her behind her back. It has come to my attention that many of you have been making fun of Tammy both on the playground and in gym class.
Children, she can not help the way she looks. It is not her fault that her face was smoothed away in a freak sandpaper accident. It will not help the situation by calling her "Tammy no-face" and chanting "Got your nose."
It was an accident and we should not burden her with personal responsibility no matter how annoying she is or how stupid something is that she does.(abruptly stops)
OK class, on your desk should be a book. Do not open it until I tell you. This book is called "I Can Read" and you will be responsible for its return at the end of the year in good reading condition. I will expect you to return this book in the exactly as you received it. I dont expect to see ripped pages, or "dog-eared" pages and I certainly dont want to catch any of you writing in the book. Grown-ups do not write in our books.
Now open the front cover of your books, take your pencil and write your name, Does everyone have a pencil? No, yes, no? If you dont have a pencil borrow one from a neighbor. Everyone have a pencil? No, yes, no? Good
Now on the first empty line, write your name, last name first, first name last and middle initial in the margin and fill in the date omitting the first two digits and separate them with a comma.
OK everyone, Put your pencils down on your desk. You can finish during free-time if you write a little slow. Pencils down, put them down, put them down. Class, class (raises hand) class "When the hand goes up the mouth goes shut". OK everyone "When the hand goes up the mouth goes shut" OK? No, yes, no? Good?
Oh hi Tammy, take your seat. Please Tammy, take your seat. Come on hurry up. The longer you take to get to your seat the less time the rest of the class will have at recess. OK? No, yes, no? Good.
(in a eerie soothing tone) OK everyone open your books to the first chapter and start reading silently the story entitled "Billy Visits the Big City". While you read silently I want you to make sure you can answer these three questions. "Why does Billy go to the city?", "What does Billy find in grandpas underwear draw?" and for bonus points "How does Billys trip to the big city work as a metaphor for the alienation of the middle class post-industrial America" And spelling counts. Any questions? No, yes, no? Good.
OK class, books open eyes down and read silently.
Now while you read Ill be in the teachers lounge. If you have any questions, Mr. Tong the custodian will be here and I dont want you bothering him about his days in the carnival.
©1999 Rev Jay Goldstein