Lunch with a former colleague today, a guy who still teaches at the middle school where I taught for nineteen years myself. The usual back and forth: What you’re up to. What the kids look like this year. How’s so-and-so? What last year’s test scores looked like. How the new teachers are doing. Volume of tears shed, number of nervous break downs. Nobody’s quit yet, that’s good. Oh, yeah, heard about the shooting in the park. Locked down ‘til seven PM. Musta been fun. Interesting kids? Listen to this. The goal on the behavior plan, the goal! is for him to behave 30 percent of the time. The other 70, good luck. That’s the plan: luck. Refused to sign. Yeah, I remember one, no shit, the goal was for the kid to tell the truth 50 percent of the time. Only lie half the time? Seems like a pretty high standard actually. Yeah, and it wasn’t even an election year.

And so forth.

So, he finally sez, are you missin’ it?

Miss the paycheck, say I.


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