Mr. Done teaches 3rd grade at The Pea's school. From what I can tell, he's quite a popular teacher; not just because he's a male teacher (I personally think there would be less troubled teenage boys if schools had more male teachers as role models), but because he's a good one. He's the kind of teacher that parents whisper about before the first day of school ("Your kid got Done? Lucky you, I've heard he's great" / "We're in Done's class? Sweeeeeeet!"). The kind who really cares about his students and makes learning fun for his class.
And as it turns out, he happens to be a brilliant author as well. So if you're not lucky enough to have a child in one of his classes, head on over to Borders and grab a copy of his book, 32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny. He graciously gave me a copy of his book to review, and I have to say he does a great job of opening up his classrooms doors and showing readers what goes on. If you think teachers have it easy (school ends before 3PM, and you get 3 months off), look again. Try managing the expectations of your star underachiever's delusional parents during their annual teacher-parent conference. Try staying healthy in a room full of sniffling kids who wipe their noses with their hands. Try keeping a straight face when a student tells the class his parents need a new bed because he hears it squeaking and creaking every night.
Oh, yes, it's all there, down to the last Thanksgiving craft and Uranus joke. There's a fair amount of screaming involved, not to mention sighing (on the teacher's part), throwing up (kids) and crying (both). Mr. Done (sorry, I can't call him anything else) is to teachers what Erma Bombeck is to moms: the insider who gives us a glimpse of what it's like to be a teacher: sometimes crazy, often hilarious, and always very, very touching. Kind of like being a parent, come to think of it.
Fairy godmother, please let The Pea get into Mr. Done's class next year!