Go Ahead: Dunk-a-Teacher

My Elementary School.

My Elementary School.

Ten cents will get you a hotdog or a hamburger! You heard me right. No, I have not gone into the culinary business.

A vivid memory I have from elementary school (Joseph J. Greenberg – in Northeast Philadelphia) was the annual June Fair. It was the best day of the school year. I emailed my oldest friend MG to ask him about his memories of the June Fair. Firstly, he said “I used to look forward to the June Fair all year long.”

Like me however, one of his vivid memories of the fair is that at the end of the day, the burgers and hot dogs would go on sale. He and I did our utmost to make sure no food was wasted. I remember saving my money till the end knowing this sale was coming while MG remembers downing six burgers, never happier that our bus was one of the last ones to leave the school.

Now of course, it was not only about food, there were different stations, carnival type games, a jumper, etc. It was always a drag going back into class when the bell signaled recess had ended. I got in trouble every year pretending I did not hear the bell.

I bring this memory up as it came to mind recently. This year, the school I work at had its first ever field day.  They had various sporting activities, an obstacle course, dancing/DJ, and a dunk tank. There were no classes that day, and each staff member had to volunteer or be assigned to assist in some way.

Guess who volunteered for the dunk tank? Well, I was encouraged, but it did not take much. It would be my revenge. I would be rude and disrespectful and suffer few consequences. Revenge was going to be sweet.

Here are some of my favorite quips:

You are even worse at this than writing essays.

I could have brought a book up here.

No wonder the softball team didn’t make the playoffs

I know why you can’t throw straight – you’re from Jamaica. Go play soccer.

We all laughed. I laughed when they sunk me, and the students laughed at the comments.

When I got out of the tank, I wandered around and talked to students and watched others participate in the various activities. I noticed something: there were smiles everywhere.

Students lined up awaiting their chance to drop me.

Students lined up awaiting their chance to drop me.

Locked in and ready. Go ahead - make my day!

Locked in and ready. Go ahead – make my day!






I think one day long after the students graduate, they will look back on high school and recall Field Day as one of those cherished memories. Now, I need to make my way back to the June Fair. I could go for a 10-cent hot dog.

BR comes to work and is ready to teach my class. No, we don't have a smartboard in my classroom.

BR comes to work and is ready to teach my class. No, we don’t have a smartboard in my classroom.

12th graders happy to be done with high school.

12th graders happy to be done with high school.

20 thoughts on “Go Ahead: Dunk-a-Teacher

    • Thanks. The jeers were the part I was most looking forward to. I was hoping the principal would take a shot. I had some things say to him. The fact that he is moving on might have given me the guts to actually say them. Oh well.

  1. great memories Larry! 🙂 you seemed to have had lots of fun with your students (love the comments you said to them too!) ha!ha! &
    very happy you included these pictures too, because we’ve been reading about your students it’s very nice to see your class now! 🙂

    • I did enjoy the students and was frustrated as heck with them at times as well. It’s all part of the process.

  2. My brother teaches high school at a rural school and they had Farmer Day. Some kids even drove their tractors to school that day. It’s hard to tell who has more fun on these days, the teachers or the students. I think it’s wonderful that you will be part of someone’s cherished memory from high school 20 years from now. Job well done, sir.

    • Tractor Day? Oh, that is great. It’s hard for me to even imagine being that rural. Anyway, I’m happy to hear the event was a success for all.

  3. That’s just greatness! You really participated and there is nothing better than that and I know the students loved it and will remember it! What a great way to end the year! I gotta say, now I want a 10 cent hot dog…

  4. I’ll bet it’s fun to shed the authoritarian persona and have some fun. Sounds like you had a great time. How many times did you get dunked?

    • Very true – the authoritarian persona is not my strength.
      I think I got dunked six times over the course of around 20 minutes.

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