by Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Bel Kaufman's 1964 book, "Up The Down Staircase" centers on Miss Sylvia Barrett, a new English teacher at Calvin Coolidge H. S. Let's revisit her in 2022 by sharing the correspondence between the staff, admninistrators, and parents:
Ms. Barrett: Please place the KN95 masks in the center drawer of your desk right next to the booklet titled, "The Active Shooter. How to Respond."
To: All Floaters - As you move from room to room every 42 minutes, please remain at least 6 feet apart from students and faculty.
Syl, your homeroom student, Alexa Carter, is suffering from "Vaccine Envy." She's jealous that others are getting the COVID-19 shot and posting it on social media.
Syl, I received this job listing from the Work-Study Coordinator: "Piano Player wanted. Must have knowledge of opening clams."
Attn: Math teachers: Please inform your students that a "Duodenum" is NOT a number system in base two.
Confidential Medical Report: New term [from Pajama Diaries Cartoon]: "Snowday Affective Disorder"--the blues you get after you get too many
Syl, please include the 2021 Word of the Year, "vax" in your S.A.T. Prep course.
The school cafeteria usually serves an "Open Sesame"--a pre-cut bagel--for breakfast. Due to the major cream cheese shortage in NYC, only butter is available. Have you tried Cookie Dough cream cheese?
Syl, would you believe that several Social Studies students are confusing Bernie Sanders with Colonel Sanders from KFC? Bea
Syl, there's no truth that one of your students was suspended for a day because he was wearing a mask with the inscription, "NOT HERE TO ROB ANYONE."
Syl, FYI: The new course, "Making It With Mademoiselle," is a SEWING COURSE!
Syl, a parent complained that you called her son a "bright loafer"--a child without the energy, interest, or sense of urgency to do schoolwork.
Ms. Marrett, please remove Adam Walker's name from your homeroom. He's moving to "Journey's End," a 113-acre planned community in Palm Beach County. 🙂
Syl, FYI: We have 13 students named Karen. Remember, name-based prejudices can leave lasting and deep psychological scars.
Great lesson on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet! Enjoyed the question, "What's the difference between COVID-19 and Romeo and Juliet? Ans. "One's the Coronavirus and the other is a Verona crisis."
Reminder: Teacher Conference Day Program tomorrow. Topic: "The Lake Wobegon Effect" (The Lake Wobegon Fallacy)"--the tendency to overestimate one's abilities.
To all Driver's Ed instructors: Do NOT accept this excuse for speeding: PUTIN MADE ME DO IT.
S.S. teachers: Instruct your students that "Herbert Hoover DID NOT INVENT THE VACUUM CLEANER!"
To: All Music Teachers: Please refrain from telling your students that there are 4 kinds of clarinet players: first clarinet, second clarinet, third clarinet, and OUT THE DOOR!
Syl, remember the Superintendent's Law: "In conclusion" means half of his/her speech is yet to come.
To all Librarians: "Remember the BIG BANG theory: Only full book carts tip over." (Larry A. Parsons)
Syl: New S.A.T. word: "striketober" - when thousands of workers seized the opportunity to strike in October (2022) for better benefits.
Syl: What do you think of this slogan? MASK IT OR CASKET.
Faculty: Please refrain from using the word "disabled." Instead, let's say "differently-abled."
Faculty: Remember the New Test Theory: When the kids know the answers, change the questions. (Larry A. Parsons)
Linda Brake defines "youthanasia" is "the mercy killing of teenagers who can't spell."
FACULTY: LOOKING AHEAD: ROBOT REDFORD, a 4-foot-tall, 175-lb. white fiberglass robot, will
deliver the commencement address in June.
MARJORIE GOTTLIEB WOLFE is a retired business educator.
She taught on Long Island for 35 years.