A Class and a Half

Dear Terrence,

I’ll be honest: other teachers have looked at you and your class walking down the hall to lunch, a long line that couldn’t be said to snake around corners because that implies a silence you guys still haven’t even on your best days mastered, they’ve looked at you and your class and said to me, “That’s a class and a half.” Or “You really have your hands full.” Or something similar. The implication is that you’re a tough class, and you can be. The implication is that the teacher would not want to change places with me, and she can’t. The implication is that I would probably be glad to be rid of you guys, but I wouldn’t be. True, it’s the beginning of the year, and I might not always be so sure of my commitment to you guys. Come March, come April, and I’ll be tired, not just of you but in general, and there will likely be some days in those warming spring months that make me think, “Man, my life would be a whole lot easier without Terrence and his class.”

It might be easier, it might very well indeed, but it wouldn’t be better. Indeed, it would be worse. You and your class are a challenge, no doubt, but what some don’t understand about me is that I love a challenge. I love a class full of kids that makes other teachers raise their eyebrows and whistle. I love when, minutes after we pass those teachers in the hall, you and your class look like this:

And I love the look in your eyes when I tell you all this.

It’s a good start so far, guys — let’s keep it up!

With joy,
Your Teacher


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