Tales from "Meet the Teacher Night"
I'll let you guys in on a little secret: for the first nine years of my teaching career, I was a complete prick. I had a little mental checklist I went through every morning as I walked from my car to my classroom, and I used that checklist to leave my emotions outside. I spent nine years as Mr. Spock. I never frowned, but I never smiled. I didn't have affection for my students.
For the last two weeks, the other teachers in my school (whose names I never bothered to learn until two weeks ago) have been amazed not only at my lack of desks, but also my cheery demeanor. "You seem... different. Happier, or something. What happened this summer?" And I just say, "Near-death experience."
Tonight was "Meet the Teacher Night," which has always been a waste of time in high school. Usually, only two or three parents show up, and I never have anything useful to say to them. Tonight, I had a couple dozen parents show up, saying things like, "Every day my son comes home to talk about what happened in Speech class today," or, "I came up here just to meet the teacher my daughter keeps telling me about," or my personal favorite, "So why aren't you teaching theatre, anyway?"
The revolution will be televised.