The Teacher


     Joan bolted out the apartment door frantically, her frizzy brown hair a tangled mess and her blouse barely tucked into her dark skirt. She half tripped, half ran down to her car and slid into the seat while turning on the ignition. Her car backed out dangerously fast into the street and Joan raced toward the school.

     “Oh, please, please, no more red lights! Please! Oh, man!” Joan yelled furiously as she braked at yet another red light. The light slowly changed to green and Joan’s little car revved through the intersection. Joan ran clumsily through the school doorway and down the hall.

     “Finally, I’m here,” she said, relieved as she unlocked her classroom. “But I’m sure I forgot something. Let’s see – I have my papers, pencil, lunch – whoops, forgot that, oh well, I’ll just eat in the cafeteria. Hmm, I was sure I forgot something. Oh no! I didn’t brush my teeth!” Joan exclaimed. She hurried over to the mirror and peered anxiously at her pearly whites, which weren’t so pearly.

     “Now what will I do? The students will be here in a few minutes, I don’t have time to go back home,” she moaned hopelessly as she plopped into her chair. Joan’s brow wrinkled as she drowned in self-pity. Suddenly, she spied an unopened package of shoelaces hidden in her desk. Her face brightened and Joan tore open the shoelaces. She positioned herself in front of the small mirror and opening her mouth, held up one of the laces. Carefully, gingerly, Joan wiggled the laces around her teeth, cleaning them as best she could. When she finished, she stepped back from the mirror and smoothed her skirt. “There now,” Joan told herself, satisfied as she turned to face the classroom. “I’m ready for the day and my students will never --” Joan stopped suddenly in the middle of her sentence. Sitting at their desks with their mouths wide open – and their white teeth sparkling – were her second graders!

     Joan’s mouth opened, and then, remembering the condition of her teeth, quickly closed it her a sharp snap. She stared at her students for a moment and then the whole classroom, Joan included, burst into laughter.

     “I guess its going to be a great day after all!” Joan concluded happily.

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