Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Top Turkey Teacher
This will be a fun article... sort of, hehe. I recently challenged my students, before Thanksgiving. There was a fund raiser by the Student Council for MUST ministries, a local charity that helps folks who don't have a lot of money. I swaggered up to the office with delusions of grandeur swimming in my head, planning and plotting. This would really get them going.
You see, each year they have a Top Turkey Teacher award. There is a picture of a bare turkey that graces the cafeteria wall. Students go up to the stage and can buy a paper feather of different bright colors for the teacher of their choice for 50 cents. They write the name of that teacher on the feather and it then adorns the turkey on the wall, making for a large plumage to decorate the school for Thanksgiving. The teacher with the most feathers gets a turkey.
As I went into the principals office and told her my plan, she laughed at my schemes and gave permission for me to make the school wide announcement.
As I was relating the story to my dad over Thanksgiving break, I asked him "How do you get a child to do something?"
"Tell them not to do it," he replied.
"RIGHT!" I said, as I proceeded to tell him the story.
"Good morning, boys and girls," I announced, as my voice boomed through the corridors of the school. "This is Mr. Houtchens. As you may have heard (and none of them had,) I understand that if I am chosen as the Top Turkey Teacher this year, at the end of the week at the pep rally, I am going to be hit with a pie in the face. Now, students.... I am much too proper... much too dignified... much too conservative... much too formal... much too respectful of my own image to allow this to happen. Therefore, I would ask your cooperation in NOT buying any feathers for me. I repeat, please do NOT buy any feathers for me. Thank you very much."
Of course that got the whole group of them going, particularly students that I had taught both this year and last. Father Kurt Wheeler, a co-worker said to me as he saw me later that day, "You dirty dog," shaking his head and smiling.
Students started making a point of coming up to me and telling me how many feathers they had bought for me. "No, no, no! Don't do that!" I would exasperate with mock indignation. One student came into my class and told me that her parents had given her $30 just to buy me feathers. I just stared at her dumbfounded. Things were escalating to a fever pitch. The announcements each morning gave a daily tally of who was winning. I was in the lead, and it appeared as though I would have to eat some pie on Friday. The story does not end there, though.
As there were TWO pep rallies, one for the seventh grade and one for the eighth, it was deemed (not by me) that I should have to take a pie in the face for each one. I had one last trick up my sleeve to make this memorable, something they would never suspect.
When the pep rally concluded, I was given the microphone. "Boys and girls, as you know I won the Top Turkey Teacher contest, and now I must take a pie to the face. However, the pie I am taking to the face is the MATHEMATICAL SYMBOL PI.
The gymnasium reverberated with their displeasure... BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
ONCE AGAIN, I HAVE OUTWITTED YOU!
ONCE AGAIN, I HAVE PROVEN MY SUPERIOR INTELLIGENCE!
ONCE AGAIN, I HAVE OUTSMARTED, OUTMANEUVERED, and THWARTED YOU WITH MY CLEVERNESS!
I was eating it up, grinning like a professional wrestler gone bad.
Thats when I got hit with the pie (I knew it was coming.) I think they may have hit me a little early in my monologue. The reaction of one of my former students behind me speaks volumes. They all cheered when I got my... pardon the cliche... just desserts.
It took a couple of days of hot showers to get rid of the stickiness completely. At the second pep rally *someone* provided enough paper plates and whipped cream for the entire 7th grade faculty to take a shot at me. They lined up eagerly, madness glinting in their eyes, juvenile glee spreading across their faces at my misfortune. It seems my plan had incited my colleagues as well. Its nice to be loved and accepted, even if in a roundabout sort of way.
Perhaps I will need a little work before constructing my secret underground lair and becoming a super villain. However, maybe I should take this in stride... Dr. Evil's plans always go awry too, so maybe I *have* arrived.