“Jones, if you don’t stop rearranging my stuff, we’re going to have to get a divorce.”
“Hays, if you were a little teeny bit organized, I wouldn’t have to clean up after you. Plus it’s not my fault we have to share a classroom. You’re the one who did the scheduling.”
I glanced at the students. Their mouths were hanging open. Our first year as administrators of the junior high school and it seemed David and I were setting a new tone, one completely unfamiliar to the kids. Obviously, we’d have to keep it up.
A few days later, I arrived in the room to find it empty. “Hays!” I bellowed, “What did you do with my kids?” Heads popped out of doorways to see what the ruckus was about. My students came out of the nooks and crannies they’d been hiding in, huge grins on their faces. Good, they were getting the hang of things.
Another time, I drove up to the school to see a grade nine class sitting in their desks on the basketball court for their math class. Someone, who shall remain nameless, had taken the desks outside (with student help) and when the teacher discovered the missing desks he moved the class outside.
For one of my classes, I needed students to get information on car insurance so I sent them to the office to use the phone. They called an insurance company to make inquiries, but the person on the other end of the line thought they were just fooling around and hung up on them.
David happened to arrive just then. They explained. He asked for the phone number and dialed. In a high squeaky voice, he said, “Hello. This is Mrs. Jones. I just retired from teaching and bought a new Jaguar.” The kids’ mouths hung open. He winked at them and continued. “How much would the insurance be?” The agent hung up on him too.
The point of all this kidding around? It was fun. It changed to tone of the school. Misbehaviors decreased. It was fun. For all of us.