the first day

by Eibatova Karina

by Eibatova Karina

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.

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About Anna Fonté

Girl in the Hat, aka Anna Fonté, is an author who writes about invisibility, outsider status, everyday monsters, and her attempts to befriend the neighborhood crows. The things she writes want you to look at them.

12 comments

  1. Todd

    I want to smack him already. How did you do it all those years without a manslaughter rap?

  2. Wow you get a metal for bravery above and beyond the call of duty.

  3. (Nothing from you for half a year, then 3 days in a row-hmm. Who’s counting, right? Me, I guess. But I do love it, Anna.)
    I maintain that I love kids “for all the right reasons, thank you very much,” but, no, I can’t stand arrogant kids, or bullying kids, or most likely this one in your story. Their sweetness is great, all the blunt, probing, difficult questions are hilarious and great, their sense of wonder and excitement at all the little things. I remember picking up my little one, once after school a few years ago, and sitting next to her while she finished some drawing, and asking her if she got her school pictures today, and she said yes, and several others said “I got mine too,” and “me too,” and you know how it is, you don’t say, “Well, no shit, I imagine you all did,” like you would if some adults said that, you just think how sweet it is that that they’re all so eager and proud about it, and how happy their parents (hopefully) are going to be to see the pics. I would never have the patience to be a teacher though, never, never, never.

    • Kevin!

      The teacher in this story is def. getting challenged. This kind of thing happens all the time unless you stop it on the first day. So I guess I posted this as a reminder to all teachers returning after a nice relaxing summer.

      I have to admit to a soft spot for teenagers. They’re rather strange and rough around the edges, but rather charming nonetheless.

  4. Karin

    why I would never teach. Told my kids you would be lined up behind the school and shot most likely when I’d had enough. Hope he redeems himself somehow in the story, or else karma comes.

    • He’s trying whatever he can to get under her skin. Rather remarkable arsenal of tools, when you think about it! Teenagers really know how to get our goat, don’t they?

  5. Such an insolent kid! Quite annoying…

  6. Yeah, this guy’s gotta a turn around coming. I can feel it. But, so does the slightly uptight teach. (ja, of course, who wouldn’t be uptight in front of the likes of him!?)

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