Congratulations on being selected as one of Henry Flanger Elementary School’s substitute teachers. Only eleven out of every twelve applicants were hired, so a hearty “Well done!” to you.
There are some interesting tidbits regarding our school that we thought you might like to know. Did you know that there was a real Henry Flanger? Some people see the drawing on the side of our building and believe he’s the product of a public relations company, like Tony the Tiger or Geronimo. No, Henry was real and he taught here. And his eyebrows were that bushy and his glasses were that thick! (Tragically, they both contributed to his untimely death when he mistook the Bunsen burner for a reading lamp and his forehead was set ablaze like a pile of kindling.) We named the school in his honor, and as part of the lawsuit settlement, and proudly wear “The Flaming Flangers” across all our school jerseys.
Despite what you might hear, Henry Flanger Elementary is not haunted. Some of the children will tell you that they hear screaming and that it’s the ghost of Henry Flanger “trapped in the flame of hell’s Bunsen burner.” Young imaginations are precious. The screaming they hear is likely coming from the teachers’ lounge, so don’t be concerned. But don’t come in if you hear it too.
You may also hear that our school was once a penitentiary. This is not true either. Many of our former students have served time from time to time, but only two have been charged with murder, and one of those was found not guilty by reason of insanity. That’s Mr. Bibcock, our art teacher. He’s not insane anymore, but please don’t bring up his late mother or any of the 460 and counting sculptures he’s carved in her memory. You can see some of them, along with a miniature igloo he made out of her teeth, in our display case by the receptionist’s desk.
As part of your benefits package, you’re entitled to free lunches in our cafeteria. We’re sure you’ll enjoy Mrs. Claussen’s home cooking. Try one of her famous corndogs, but go easy – people have choked. To be fair to Mrs. Claussen, three of those people were unaware that the stick is inedible.
You also receive health benefits. The school nurse, Ms. Jenkins, is available if you’re under the weather or have been assaulted. Please do not ask her to check your prostate, even if it’s under the weather or has been assaulted. If you are a woman, please do not ask her to check whatever your version of the prostate is.
You may notice our drinking water has an amber shade and a varnish-like aroma. Don’t be alarmed. Our former science teacher, the late Mr. Solowitz, determined it was “nutrient-rich” and drank eight glasses of it every day before having to swap out his entire digestive tract. If your immune system is weak, inefficient or just plain lazy, you may want to be on the lookout for any of the following symptoms: Howling Bowels, Shotgun Belching or Chattering Anus, which is similar to but slightly different from Stuttering Sphincter.
You will be issued a key to the substitute teacher bathroom, located in the basement, past the furnace, boiler, and our custodian Mr. Canhaus (please don’t wake him between 10:00 and 2:00). There you will find past issues of Highlights magazine to make your time more pleasant, along with a red marker and tests that need grading.
Because children are sensitive and parents like to complain, we no longer issue numeric scores on tests. Instead, please provide feedback by drawing one of the following figures: a happy face, a really happy face, a stoic face or a really stoic face. Please don’t draw any of these figures: a head filled with rocks, a head made of solid bone, a head with a sleeping elf where the brain should be or a head with no ears (one of our students has no ears).
Because of student allergies, never serve any snacks except for plain rice cakes. If rice cakes are unavailable, plain Styrofoam is acceptable (no cinnamon or apple flavored, please).
You may be asked to assist in gym class. Coach Saunders recently had both hips replaced and the children have figured out how to dislocate them. We advise wearing an athletic supporter and/or reinforced cup, even if you’re a woman. Many of the children have bad aim. And some have very good aim, which is why you should wear the supporter.
Because of sore losers, we don’t keep score of anything. Any child who keeps score during a game should be issued five demerits. If they keep score of their demerits, give them five more.
Outdoor recess is held in the field behind the school, right next to the junkyard. The children are allowed to play with the junk, but anything they take they have to pay for, including hubcaps.
You can pick up your substitute teaching uniform at the garage. Ask for Skeeter. Give him your size but don’t let him take your measurements. Despite what he’ll tell you, he is not “the school tailor.” He is an exterminator.
Your uniform may or may not have an unpleasant odor. If foul smells bother you (think three-quarter digested corn dogs), wash the uniform (especially the pants) in a solution of bleach mixed with more bleach. We also recommend setting your dryer to one click short of combustion. This will help with the ticks.
The bus will pick you up at 8:00 am. If you smell alcohol on our driver’s breath, please take the wheel. If he doesn’t smell of booze, don’t criticize his driving. He has anger control issues (that’s why he drinks).
Lastly, please sign the release of liability form. We like to handle complaints in-house and not spend our time making lawyers rich. If you are a complainer, you can contact your representative, Mr. Canhaus, at any time (except between 10:00 and 2:00).