Class Dismissed

June 01, 1990 3 min read

shaved own head

milked cow

sat in pool of Jell-O

sat in dunking chair over waterfilled tank

dressed like gorilla and sat in cage

dressed like California raisin and sang song

dressed like chimney sweep and spent day on the roof

<&CD100>Next year, NAESP can add “dressed in drag and spent day on roof’’ to the list. The Associated Press reports that John Branson, principal of Anthony Wayne Elementary School in Franklin, Ohio, “dressed for success with a wig, bra, and a little red number’’ and stayed up on the school roof all day to reward 300 pupils who read 3,000 books during Right-to-Read Week.

The Caper

“We’re afraid report card security was breached,’' Waterbury, Conn., schools superintendent Guy DiBiasio told reporters earlier this year after 65 blank report cards disappeared from city offices.

According to school officials, an intensive investigation revealed that someone identifying herself as a high school teacher called the city’s general accounting office and said she needed 65 report cards. Shortly thereafter, sources say, a teenage girl showed up at the office, announcing to a clerk she was there to pick up the cards. The clerk--according to witnesses--handed them over.

DiBiasio warned parents to be on the lookout for the cadged cards. Any notable jump in grades might be a clue. The investigation is ongoing.

You Wrote This Yourself?

Teachers now have a new ally in the eternal struggle against student plagiarism: computer software. Glatt Plagiarism Services Inc. of Sacramento, Calif., produces two IBMcompatible programs: a screening program to help teachers detect stolen sentences and a teaching program to help students learn the difference between legitimate paraphrasing and outright plagiarizing. Software author Barbara Glatt says that most of her customers have been college-level instructors. But sales to high schools have begun to pick up.

P.S. The Food Here Is Lousy

General Manuel Antonio Noriega usually lets his lawyers do his talking, but recently he sent a handwritten letter on yellow legal paper to teacher Alan Haskvitz’s 8th grade social studies class at Suzanne Middle School in Walnut, Calif. The letter was in response to one the class had written to the imprisoned former dictator after Haskvitz suggested that his students “get both sides of the story.’' Noriega thanked the class for its interest and went on to defend his actions, calling himself “a nationalistic and patriotic leader who struggled, struggles, and will struggle for the sovereignty of his country, Panama.’'

Heady with success, the students’ next target was the leader of the free world. They wrote President Bush, asking him questions about what Noriega had said. They enclosed “a copy of Noriega’s letter with an English translation, just in case,’' Haskvitz says.

Bush responded within a month, offering the class his rationale for the invasion. “But he didn’t answer any of the kids’ questions,’' Haskvitz says. The class had even worse luck with a letter they wrote to the Pentagon. They are still waiting for the generals’ reply.

The students’ interests are not limited to hemispheric politics. Their latest project, says Haskvitz, is a plan to put “plastic sacks in toilet tanks’’ to save water.

None Of The Above

Louise Scarborough, an English teacher at Valliant (Okla.) High School, had much more sympathy for the hero of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea after one of her students wrote: “Captain Nemo was abscessed with treasure.’'

Teacher Magazine welcomes submissions of short items, including malapropisms, for “Class Dismissed’’ and pays $25 for material used.


A version of this article appeared in the June 01, 1990 edition of Teacher as Class Dismissed