A Simple Request

Recently, I had a conversation with Gerry. We first taught together thirty years ago. He has been retired for twenty-four years. He is doing well.

I was reminded of a staff meeting we had in 1989. Gerry was getting close to retirement. During these meetings he would sit quietly and stare at the papers in front of him.

The hottest topic at this particular meeting centred on the fact that the school had received two new video cassette recorders (VCR’s). Different department heads would rise and argue why one of the new machines should be located in their respective wing. More discussion dealt with the proposed placement of the VCR’s than any other agenda item.

After much discussion and debate, Gerry raised his hand. The principal recognized him and invited him to speak. Gerry looked up. He looked straight ahead.

Just give me a box of chalk. That’s all I need… just a box of chalk.”

I don’t recall where the VCR’s were finally located. I believe it was the only time I heard Gerry speak at a staff meeting.

Teaching is an art, it’s not a science. Some people have it, some don’t. Imagine the art you could produce with just a box of chalk.

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