Tag Archives: teacher

1522: Secret code

Ms Evelyn Zimmermann was frothing at the mouth. She was spitting tacks. Ms Zimmermann had spent two and a half months working out a complex, secret code. She would use it with her teenage literature class. They would decipher the code over a period of several weeks. She would help them bit by bit; a hint here and a hint there. The overriding question to answer was: What poem is hidden in the code? How exciting is that?

Ms Evelyn Zimmermann handed out the beautifully printed sheets. She had taken such care; the manuscripts were almost gilded. “This,” said Ms Zimmermann, “is the poem in code that together we shall decipher over the coming weeks.”

Willie Barros put up his hand. “The poem is obviously Tintern Abbey by William Wordsworth.”

Ms Evelyn Zimmermann was shocked beyond belief. She was thunderstruck. She was gobsmacked. Months of planning and several weeks of planned pedagogy had gone down the gurgler in seconds. To make matters worse, she would have to give the upstart student a high mark for his know-all insolence. She’d never liked him. He was one of those nerdy students – a goody-two-shoes with no personality. He had pimples and absolutely no dress sense. He was one of those completely yucky adolescent boys whose half broken voice squawked up and down like a clucky chicken.

“That’s very clever of you, Willie,” said Ms Zimmermann sweetly. “How did you know that?”

Willie Barros explained the code in detail. “The answer just came to me, almost without thinking,” he said. He was particularly pleased with himself, although he didn’t say so, because Ms Zimmermann was always nasty to him, although she pretended to be kind. In fact, at times she was downright cruel. Tyrannical even. She preferred the better-looking students.

That’s why, over the last few months, Willie Barros had hacked into her computer and knew everything there was to know.

1498. Hi Magdalen

Hi Magdalen
This’ll have to be a quick note because my wife’s due home any minute. I just want to say that little Julia is loving being in your class. She came home singing Little Bo Peep and Mary Had a Little Lamb. I also wanted to say that I’m pretty upset about the rumours of you having an affair with one of the parents. If my name gets out I won’t be at all happy. Hopefully we can carry on. Speaking of which – when’s the next parents’ interview evening?
Herb McCauley

Hi Magdalen
This’ll have to be a quick note because my wife’s due home any minute. I just want to say that little Archie is loving being in your class. He came home singing Little Bo Peep and Mary Had a Little Lamb. I also wanted to say that I’m pretty upset about the rumours of you having an affair with one of the parents. If my name gets out I won’t be at all happy. Hopefully we can carry on. Speaking of which – when’s the next parents’ interview evening?
Clive McCormick

Hi Magdalen
This’ll have to be a quick note because my wife’s due home any minute. I just want to say that little Francesca is loving being in your class. She came home singing Little Bo Peep and Mary Had a Little Lamb. I also wanted to say that I’m pretty upset about the rumours of you having an affair with one of the parents. If my name gets out I won’t be at all happy. Hopefully we can carry on. Speaking of which – when’s the next parents’ interview evening?
Jack Flanagan

Hi Magdalen
This’ll have to be a quick note because my wife’s due home any minute. I just want to say that little Bart is loving being in your class. He came home singing Little Bo Peep and Mary Had a Little Lamb. I also wanted to say that I’m pretty upset about the rumours of you having an affair with one of the parents. If my name gets out I won’t be at all happy. Hopefully we can carry on. Speaking of which – when’s the next parents’ interview evening?
Ivan Ainsworth

Dear Parents
I’m happy to announce that Clarissa Dobbs will be the replacement teacher while Magdalen
is on maternity leave.
Charles Allen
Principal

1478. Sex in the classroom

Ms Daphne McHathaway was a wonderful teacher. She had a class of ten-year olds. They loved her. Well, they did until…

Everyone was stunned to hear her say, “Class! Class! What do you know about sex?”

There was a stunned silence. Then brave Johnny Overall ventured to say, “Not much, Miss. Perhaps you can tell us about it.”

“I’m not sure I’d be allowed to,” said Ms McHathaway. “You had better ask your parents first.”

Not every child went home and asked their parents. Some were too scared to broach the subject. Others simply blurted it out at dinner time. “Can Ms McHathaway tell us about sex?”

There was outrage from some quarters. Opposition against Ms McHathaway went from the frying pan into the fire. It grew into a conflagration. In the end, the parents were called to a meeting at the school.

“You should not try to usurp the duty of parents,” expostulated Mr Freddie Turnbull.

“I don’t know what the problem is,” said Ms McHathaway. “All I wondered, with the separation of church and state, whether I was allowed to teach them about sects.”

1431. From start to finish

Teresa had to write a story for school. She began:

It was funny from go to whoa.

She stopped writing.

“Dad,” she asked, “is it from go to whoa or is it from whoa to go?”

Dad didn’t know. Ask your mother.

“Is it from go to whoa or is it from whoa to go?”

Her mother didn’t know.

She asked her aunt and uncle. She asked her grandmother. She asked lots and lots of people.

“Is it from go to whoa or is it from whoa to go?”

In the end, Teresa handed her story in to the teacher. The teacher wrote at the bottom:

This story is silly from beginning to end.

1397. Class preparation

Robert Maguire was a fairly new and enthusiast high school teacher of Chemistry. In fact, he was about to begin his second year of teaching. During the long summer break he went several times to the school’s chemistry laboratory to prepare his classes for the coming year.

The last time he went, the plumber turned up.

“I’m here to check for dripping faucets,” said the plumber. “Thank goodness you’re here. Mr Gaynor, the Head of the Chemistry Department, gave me a key to the classroom but I was worried how I would get my van through the locked school gate.”

Robert Maguire was about to leave so he asked the plumber to make sure he locked the chemistry laboratory when he left, and to also firmly lock the school’s front gate.

“There have been a lot of burglaries in the area over the summer,” said Robert Maguire.

1346. In God we trust

Dear Ms Bramley,
Mabel and I were shocked to discover on class open day that a big banner across the wall read “In God we trust”. What sort of superstitious nonsense are you shoving down the throats of seven year olds? Mabel and I are atheists, and we are teaching Connie to be discerning and to be an atheist too. If the banner is not removed we shall be forced to send Connie to another school. It’s not easy being an atheist in today’s world.
Mabel and Reg Parsonage

Dear Ms Bramley,
Charlie and me were so disappointed in the second class open day of the year that the banner across the back wall that read “In God we trust” had been removed. We thought it a brilliant way to instil into Hector the values our country holds dear. We hope you haven’t succumbed to criticism from Mabel and Reg Parsonage who apparently had much to say on the matter.
Charlie and Gwen Green

Dear Ms Bramley,
Francine and I were so disappointed at the lack of posters on the classroom wall on open day. It represented for us the nihilism that has become all too common in our modern society. Bareness, blankness, espousing no meaning in life. We are donating posters of Hillary Clinton and of Kim Jong-un so that the children will have people to look up to.
Francine Smith and Deborah Coolidge

Dear Ms Bramley,
I was outraged to see the poster hanging up in your classroom during the third open day this year. There are many world leaders that would serve as an example to the children… but that!!!… Please remove it or we shall be forced to send Petros and Stavros to another school. The Clintons are no example to tender minds.
Boadicea Whitelock

Dear Ms Bramley,
The blank walls of your classroom during the fourth and final open day of the year was enough to make Dolores and I shudder. There wasn’t even a vase of flowers or any greenery or living creature exhibit in the classroom. How can the children learn to care for the planet when you present such a barren landscape?
Myrtle Bristlewick

Dear Ms Bramley,
Josie came home and said there’s a pet turtle in the classroom. No wonder the planet is on the verge of extinction when you entrap living creatures and enslave them away from the natural environment for selfish adulation and aggrandisement. Put it back where it was found, please.
Holly and Arnold Steptoe

Dear Mr and Mrs Bramley,
This note is to express our sorrow at the sudden and sadly self-inflicted passing of a much admired teacher and mentor. Charlotte adored her, and Nigel did too. In her memory we are donating a large framed poster to be hung in the school assembly hall, so that all will be inspired by your daughter’s life and death. It reads:
GOD SHED HIS GRACE ON THEE.
Yours sincerely,
Dirk and Bonnie Wotherspoon

1312. A rustic school

It was a sad day for the little country school. After two hundred and seventy-one years it was closing. It had always been a single teacher school, with the number of pupils ranging from twelve to twenty-seven. The twelve to twenty-seven pupils would in future be bused to and from another school three quarters of an hour away.

The children were all from local farming families. All former pupils seem to have lived good and profitable lives. All seemed to have got a good basis of education. Some, usually the oldest boy although these days perhaps the oldest girl instead, went into farming. Some former pupils had excelled beyond all expectations. One was a famous nuclear physicist. Another was a research scientist for the cure of tropical diseases.

It was a happy school, and it was the centre of the local community. If the pupils put on a concert, the whole district attended, even if they had no children at the school.

It was surprising that the school was closing. More and more couples with children were moving into the area; townspeople who had bought several acres for their lifestyle dream: two alpacas and a peacock. Or a guinea fowl with piglets. Anyway, one of these lifestylers to come into the area was Ms Claudette Armstrong. She was the one responsible for getting the school closed. She had written to the Minister of Education.

Mr Higgins, the sole teacher, had to be removed. “I distinctly heard him use the word “bugger” within hearing distance of a pupil,” wrote Ms Armstrong.

“Bugger me if I’ve never heard anything so stupid in my whole life. Not even when I went through university,” said Farmer Jack. “She should bugger off back to town from whence she came.”

“I’ll be buggered if I don’t agree with you, Jack,” chimed Mrs Nora Elworthy.

Their protests went for naught. Mr Higgins was removed. The school closed.

“Now we might see the local children get a proper education,” declared a triumphant Ms Armstrong. “For too long pupils in rural schools have been disadvantaged.”