School starts next week in much of Texas, and with the start of school comes the most intimidating night for any child — Meet the Teacher Night.
It’s a scary process, meeting the man or woman that will shepherd you through the next ten months, trying to impart some knowledge along the way and trying to stop you from eating paste. It also signals the end of the summer, which is a traumatizing experience for the child and a relief unlike any other for the parent.
So with all that in mind, we thought it’d be a good idea to imagine Meet the Teacher Night at Big 12 Middle School, where all 10 coaches in the conference have taken up a teaching post. (It’s a small school.) Step inside, grab your schedules, and let’s begin.
Come in, come in! It’s so nice to see you after summer break. I’m Principal Bowlsby, and I’ll be your guide through Big 12 Middle. We’re so excited to have you here with us. I hope you’ve already stopped by the office to grab your schedule and meet the office aides, Mr. Umpire and Mr. Back Judge. They’re always ready and willing to help — especially if you’re a Longhorn! chuckles awkwardly That’s just a little joke we like to tell around here.
It is true, though, seriously.
Let’s see here. It looks like your first class is history with one of our newest teachers, Mr. Klieman. You’ll love him. He’s got three degrees from North Dakota State, one of the greatest history programs in the Upper Midwest! He’s a very nice man, although his classroom is strangely empty at the moment. Mr. Klieman is replacing Mr. Snyder, who was an institution here at Big 12 Middle, although he did start dozing off in the middle of class near the end.
Where are you going next? Ah, yes, the math and science wing. Look, there’s Mr. Brown’s class! He’s a nice young man, don’t you think? I’ve never heard someone with such a thick Appalachian accent speak so intelligently about chemistry, but he’s got tons of experience from labs all over the country. He’ll be a great replacement for Mr. Holgorsen, who was unfortunately asked to leave last year after we discovered the moonshine still he had hidden in the science lab. The kids will miss Mr. Holgorsen’s trick of lighting a dollar bill on fire and putting it out with sugar free Red Bull, but Mr. Brown will be a welcome change of pace.
But you have Mr. Riley! He’s very popular with the kids these days. His chemistry club has made it all the way to the national competition two years in a row, but their homemade volcano has had some issues. One year it erupted way before the judges made it to their table, and last year it just didn’t erupt at all. There are rumors he’s leaving to take a job in Dallas ISD, but we hope you enjoy him while you have him!
And there’s Mr. Patterson, the cranky old Pre-AP Algebra teacher. He’s famous for his lectures, which can go on for 45 minutes at a time and touch on everything from Pythagoras to his childhood in Kansas for some reason. He’ll also change shirts randomly throughout the day. What a character! He’s a great teacher, but you won’t have him until next year.
Next door to Mr. Patterson is Mr. Gundy. What’s that? No, we don’t know why he cuts his hair like that either. He just showed up to a PTA meeting one day with that haircut and dared anyone to say something. Nobody did. A few years ago he won a Pickens Grant — given out by a wealthy local oil baron — to teach some advanced math, which has had middling results. He’s under a lot of pressure right now, so let’s just keep moving.
Ah, here we are, Mr. Campbell’s room. He came to Big 12 Middle a couple of years ago, and he’s really blown everyone’s socks off. He’s only supposed to be teaching multiplication tables, but last year his class somehow managed to solve Fermat’s Last Theorem despite only working with a slide ruler and an abacus. Maybe this year you’ll go from figuring out 6x6 to taking on irrational number theory!
On to the English wing, where it looks like you’ll have Mr. Wells. He’s a new teacher at Big 12 Middle School, and it looks like he hasn’t really moved in yet. The previous teacher in this classroom, Mr. Kingsbury, was really popular — he showed movies every week in class and wore sunglasses inside. He never did get his kids to actually do any of the assigned curriculum, but somehow he got a job as the head of an English department at a university in Arizona anyway. We’re still trying to figure that one out.
Oh, you hear that music, too? Yep, that’s Mr. Herman’s classroom. He showed up a few years ago playing a bunch of hip-hop music on the first day of school, hoping the kids would like it. The novelty’s warn off, but he still keeps doing it. We had to remind him that grills are strictly forbidden in the district dress code, and he caused a safety hazard doing classroom renovations with a sledgehammer, but otherwise he’s a pretty good teacher.
Now we’re off to the fine arts wing, which is just past the library. And here’s the librarian himself, Mr. Rhule! Mr. Rhule is a popular guy at Big 12 Middle — he hands out candy every day to the kids and he’s always recommending new and interesting books. He even gets along with Mr. Patterson! He’s a sweet man. So much better than the last librarian.
And here we are at your final class of the day, Mr. Miles’ Introduction to Film class! You know, this classroom has been a lot of things over the past few years. It’s been a debate room, an art studio, a robotics class and a band hall, and somehow, none of them have worked at all. But we’re very confident Mr. Miles will take Intro to Film to new heigh—hmm, no, I don’t know why there’s a grass farm growing in the corner. We’ll have to have a talk with him later.
Alright, that wraps up your tour! I hope you’ve had a great time meeting your new teachers this year. This is going to be such a fun time at Big 12 Middle, where remember: together, we can all be One True Champion!