Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fun at Work or Why No Visitors Were Allowed in My Class

Why No Visitors Were Allowed in My Class

For 12 years I taught in the High School in Port Washington, NY. 

During that time I taught classes in World History, American History, Economics, Sociology, Psychology, Art History, Experimental Biology, Interpretation of Literature, a tutoring course where students went to the elementary schools to help grade school students, Anthropology, and Child Development.

I taught a lot of different classes because I would get bored easily.  I routinely had 5 different courses per semester, and would occasionally team up with other teachers to team teach a class.

While there, I had a good time. 

There were other teachers there with my sense of humor and we would play jokes on one another, plan and execute jokes together and have fun while teaching.

We signed up one of the teachers for the priesthood (they were running ads for “a few good men”). He eventually had to tell them he was married.  They told him to stay in touch if his status changed.

Donated money to the Democratic party for someone who was a staunch Republican (actually the same one we signed up for the priesthood), performed brain surgery on a rat with a dentist drill, ether and epoxy, pretended the boa constrictor had gotten out of its cage, sending in a male teachers name for the position of Girls Room Attendant, and too many things to really mention.

One of my favorite incidents, however, was the Kazoo Band.

I was teaching a course early in the morning on the side of the school facing the football field. 
Every morning, the Marching Band would practice.  They were very loud, often drowning out what I was saying. 
The worst part was they never finished the song.

Over and over again they played the same song and stopped at the exact same place.  It was maddening.  I had to do something.

I told the students in my class to bring in Kazoo’s the next day and we would march around the Marching Band and give them a dose of their own medicine.  We would go out there when they started playing.

The next day came. 

The Marching Band started playing and marching.
I and my students left the classroom for the football field. 
So did every other student on that side of the building.

My class had recruited everyone who had the misfortune to be in a class facing the football field, when the Marching Band practiced.

The students got up to leave at the appointed time, much to the surprise of their teachers.   

When their teachers asked what they were doing, they replied: “Mr. Dreyfuss wants us as part of his Kazoo Band to march around the Marching Band.”

The school emptied out.

Many of the students carried placards saying things like “Finish the Song”, “Change the Song”, and some placards I won’t mention.

We marched around the band, playing our Kazoo’s.  I thought we sounded as good as the Marching Band.
The Marching Band was confused.  They stopped playing.

We returned to the building.

The Principal, Assistant Principals, and various faculty members,  were waiting.

Fortunately, his office faced the football field as well.  He thought it was very funny, and we all returned to class.

The math teachers were unhappy with me, they are very rigid when it comes to keeping their teaching schedule, but the other teachers enjoyed it.  The Band Director didn’t talk to me for a year. The Marching Band played on.

One year the school was hosting a Student Exchange Program. 

Students from other parts of the country would come to our school for a few days and our students would then go to their school.

This particular year, they students came from Kansas.

I was teaching Introduction to Psychology and the lesson that day was about Freud.  A few of the Exchange Students attended the class.  We were talking about some of the Freudian Concepts all of which have sexual connotations.  They had never been exposed (no pun intended) to this kind of thing.

The Exchange Students went to their end of day meeting to report on what they had observed. 
“Do you know what they are discussing in that class?” they said.  “It was embarrassing”;  “I never heard anything like it in my life”

The next day my class was filled to overflowing. 
The lesson was on hypnosis, with a demonstration of hypnotizing the whole class included.

The next day, the chairman of my department passed a rule that said no outside visitors would be allowed in my classroom after this day.  He said I gave visitors a skewed impression of what is taught in the school.

I think he was just jealous because no one came to his class, it was boring.

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