Teachers and Teaching: Understanding, Courage,
Tom, a middle-aged, chemical engineer, taking on a second career in teaching, is an intern in an urban high school participating in a major reform effort. He has been placed in the chemistry classroom of Mr. B, who had to be persuaded (coerced) into taking on a student teacher for reasons that soon become apparent. Before long, Tom discovers that Mr. B does not really teach much at all. Rather, Mr. B assigns his students busy work that he seems to dream up in the first 5 minutes of class. For example, “Here are 10 sentences. Locate them in the chapter and write out the paragraph that you find them in on your papers and turn them in at the end of the hour.” Day-to-day activities are often unrelated. How-ever, the class is quiet and relatively free of conflict, an accommodation having been silently reached-the teacher
will not ask much of the students and they will not give him a hard time (a bad bargain for the students, especially).