By Will Newman
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Aww! A Puppy!
Requires: a puppy
Instructions: Bring the puppy to the classroom. Stay seated at your desk until class time is over.
An Exploration of Contemporary Music
Requires: an iPod, speakers or really loud headphones
Setup: In iTunes, set up a playlist of songs that goes for at least as long as class time.
Instructions: Play the playlist and constantly tell the students "Quiet!" and "Listen to this, this is the good part." Lie back in your chair and meditate as an example for the students.
What to do if a student doesn't like a song: Inform him or her that the song is a favorite of Ms. Cranston, the nosy assistant principal, who insisted that you start doing projects in class.
Requires: laundry basket, assorted clothes
Setup: Wash clothes.
Instructions: Distribute clothes among the students, with the more industrious students receiving more clothes and the less coordinated students receiving only socks. Provide a five-minute demonstration on how to fold clothes, then allow the students to practice folding clothes and neatly placing them in the laundry basket. Stay seated near the basket, supervising.
What to do if students laugh at your intimate apparel: Inform them that it isn't yours and that it belongs to Ms. Cranston.
Requires: automobile, DustBuster, trash bag, rags, buckets, soap
Setup: Fill buckets with soap and water.
Instructions: Take students to school parking lot and encourage them to discover all possible places where in-car trash could lurk, especially under seats. Have the students take turns extracting trash and placing it in the trash bag. Finally, have the students take turns experimenting with the effects of suction on and under dirty car seats. Especially loud or pushy students should be given moist rags and buckets of soapy water to learn about the proper cleaning of chrome. Stay seated in the parking lot, supervising.
What to do if students complain about doing forced labor: Encourage them to tell Ms. Cranston that they found their original classroom experience of sitting quietly during regular lesson plans like the kind that teachers have been giving for thousands of years far superior to her naive "hands-on project" idea.
Introduction to Labor Markets
Requires: current newspaper, pens
Setup: Cut the classified-ads section into enough pieces for all students to receive a unique piece. The day before, tell the students to bring their cell phones to school the next day.
Instructions: Tell students to circle, with the pens you provide them, any ad that says "No Experience Necessary." Similarly, tell them to put big Xs through any ad that mentions children at all. When all ads have been inspected, write your full name and telephone number on the chalkboard and have the students call the phone numbers associated with the ads that have a circle but not an X. Have each student inquire about an interview and provide their teacher's name and phone number to the voice on the other end of the phone. Stay seated with your eyes closed, supervising with your ears.
What to do if a student obtains Ms. Cranston's cell-phone number from the faculty directory and prank-calls it continuously for the duration of class time: Punish the class by making them do the above project "Aww! A Puppy!"
By the way, I am alive and am having many adventures, which shall be blogged about sometime soon. Perhaps tomorrow, providing my flight home is not delayed by technical problems. Again.