A Staple Presentation
I love parody and satire. I used these forms of presentation often, even though I grew to realize that many students did not appreciate it (more later).
One of my patented shticks when teaching high school went like this.
“Good morning class. Before we begin today’s formal lesson I would like to take a few minutes to offer the Stapler Safety Course. Now before I begin I should point out that I am not certified to conduct the course; however, I have taken the training and I am a teacher. I feel confident that I can conduct the training in a professional and competent manner, but you will not receive a certificate of course completion when I am done. You will, however, feel confident and comfortable when using staplers in the future. Because of your new understanding the world will, in fact, be a safer place.”
At this point I would show them the stapler that has been on my desk all semester.
“This is a semi-automatic Swingline Optima Grip Full-Strip Stapler. They are legally imported into Canada from Mexico. Please note that this particular model DOES NOT come with a safety catch. That is why it is imperative that all who purchase and use this type of stapler be properly trained.”
I would then open the stapler.
“Please note – there is no staple in the chamber, neither are there staples in the magazine; HOWEVER, you ALWAYS treat a stapler as if it were loaded. Never point a stapler at another person – NEVER.
It is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended that you have a stapler remover near at hand when using a stapler – you never know when you will have a miss-fire.”
“Never leave a stapler unattended. Now I know what you are thinking, ‘Mr. Caines always leaves his stapler unattended on his desk’ and that is true. I will admit that I have often done that; consequently, I have been negligent in my responsibilities. I will fully understand if you tell your parents and have them report me to the principal.”
“In Canada we have much stricter laws governing stapler ownership than they do in the U.S. I am told that is some U.S. states students often come to school packing. In Texas, for example, it is not uncommon to have an entire class in possession of the Swingline Top Grip Miniature stapler. Don’t be fooled by the term ‘miniature’. At close range they can staple up to 12 sheets of paper”
“Currently there is no need to register your stapler in Canada but that day may come.”
“Please note, in my right hand I have a full clip of standard staples. These are full-metal staples. In Canada it is impossible to legally purchase hollow-point staples. I will now load the stapler.”
At this point I would demonstrate how to safely staple sheets of paper together. I would also demonstrate how to properly staple paper on a display board. Sometimes I would invite a few students to come to the front of the class and practice stapling under my close supervision.
I would always finish with, “Class remember this, staplers don’t hurt people. People hurt people.”
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