Teacher (poses with her props—a stack of papers, a tweedy blazer, and a pair of reading glasses—behind the lectern at the front of the room): Hello class, and welcome to AP English.
Student (a beefy boy at the back of the room): Yo, teach!
Teacher (smiles succinctly): After I take roll, I’ll introduce myself and we’ll discuss our plan for the year. Our reading list will be extensive and adventurous.
Student (holds up an inflated plastic finger): Go, reading! Go, books! Wooooot!
(Teacher starts at the front of the aisle near the door, greeting each student and marking them present with a sharp Ticonderoga.)
(Student wrestles with the plastic toy, making squealy, piglike noises. Everybody laughs.)
Teacher (stands in front of the student, indicating the giant finger which has now morphed into an inflated life preserver stretched tight around his midsection): Looks like you came prepared.
Student (who suddenly seems much younger): I’m ready for anything, Mrs. Teacher, ma’am.
Teacher (in a voice that manages to sound half amused and half unamused): From now on, I expect you to put your toys in your locker before you come to class.
Student (frowns at the giant rubber ducky in his hands): Do you hear that? There’ll be no room for fun in this class.
Teacher: I wouldn’t say that. (Loud enough for the whole class to hear): Hopefully, we’ll all be mutually amused.
Student: But it’s mine! Mine! Mine! (Smashes the head of his blow-up mallet down on the desk. The class laughs again.)
Teacher (placing her hand on the plastic): Put this away now or I’ll have to take it away.
Student (leering down his big plastic penis flopped across the desk): Sure, teach, if you insist. Would it hurt to ask nicely?
Teacher (reflexively checks the buttons on her blouse): What did you say your name was?
Student (wedging the inflated plastic cushion under his butt): You can call me whatever you want, just don’t call my parents.
Teacher: I can’t find you on my list.
Student (bouncing up and down in his seat): Keep looking.