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Monday, April 16, 2007

You can catch more flies with lollipops…

In the past I’ve complained that I’ve had to compete with other teachers to capture the students’ attention. I just can’t compete with the likes of robot building science teachers and Civil War artifact toting history teachers, and I’ve come to accept that. The problem is that other teachers, within my department, haven’t accepted defeat.

Meet Mrs. Kane, fellow English teacher.

That’s the name that comes before the kids’ repetitious phrases of, “…lets us have candy,” and, “…gives us candy for following directions.” What I can gather is that Kane gives out treats to the students once they have completed tasks—like sugar cubes for horses—or fish to seals. Can you imagine this in the real world?

“Yeah I’ll have the Sausage Slam, and she’ll have the Moons Over My Hammy.”

“Okay, anything else?”

“Couple of coffees.”

“Okay sir, that will be two Kit-Kats and a Mounds bar.”

“What do ya mean? The menu here says—"

“No that’s what it takes to get me to send this order to the kitchen.”

“What are you talking about?”

“My teacher gives me a Twix for picking-up and passing out worksheets, so I figure that translates into taking this order to the kitchen for a couple of Kit-Kats and a Mounds bar.”

“Listen missy—“

“Dylan.”

“Dylan, there’s a reason why my name is Burt and not Willie Wonka. That’s because I don’t have candy falling out of my pockets. Plus, it’s insane to expect a treat for every task you complete.”

Dylan responds with nothing but a blank stare.

“Get me your manager.”

“That will cost ya Sugar Daddy.”

I’m sorry but I’m not giving the kids candy for turning in work and reading. That’s not what I’m here for, and this isn’t Nestles High. Plus, I’m no expert in this teaching game, but I know enough to get by. Wouldn’t developmental psychologists have something to say about giving seventeen-year-olds Mike and Ike’s so they’ll do stuff? I know everyone develops at different rates, but…

Plus, I’ve got all the dang wrappers from her treats lying on my floor (she supplies former students too). Kane probably gives them extra for not leaving evidence of her actions on her own floors. That’s okay, though, because I pick them up; not to throw away, but to collect. One morning soon, her mailbox is going to get a sweet tooth.

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