Posted by: chrisdavis | November 18, 2008

Riding a tiger

I think I’ve climbed on a tiger and I can’t get off.

You know the story: if you ride a tiger, you can’t jump off or you’ll be eaten.

By starting the story of my school teaching experience, people are writing and asking, “And, what about today?” So, I can’t stop writing or what I said yesterday will seem like the only thing that is happening to me.

Today I went to the high school and EVERYTHING was different. For starters, the teacher for whom I was subbing had left a totally detailed outline of every period and what was to be done. Second, the students were a delight: they liked each other and were only playful instead of rude. They liked me and I liked them. It didn’t hurt that they had to spend most of the period taking a test which kept them quiet and busy.

I began each class by saying that I had thoroughly enjoyed their high school play which I had seen last week. Several students in each class had been in the play. When I told them I had 2 sons who were actors and both would have liked the play, the students were impressed. Then I told them I had been a teacher for 25 years but had never been in a classroom. I let them figure out how that could be and, when they did, they were impressed. Since the subject was American History, I asked them to guess how I had taught American History to my sons. They were impressed.

After each class had taken the test, I divided them into groups and gave them the red hat/green hat riddle and most of them really worked to figure it out. At the end of the day’s final period, about 6 or 7 students were gathered around the marker board arguing about which hat they were wearing and who had the best explanation for having figured it out. They begged me to tell them the answer but I refused, saying that they were smart enough and would “figure it out before tomorrow”. Even after school let out, one of the girls dragged a boy into the class and explained the riddle to him so he could help her with the answer.

I don’t know where I will be tomorrow. But today was a really nice change. One of the students said to me, “Mr. Chris, you’re really cool.” I especially liked a shirt one of the students was wearing. It said, “If my music bothers you, you must be old.” I think Seth would say that about his Dad.

I know some of you have prayed for me because you’ve told me so. Many thanks.

I wake up each morning at 5:30, get ready and eat breakfast. Then I wait for a phone call from a school. I never know which one will call or if any one will call, but I have to be ready to go when, and if, someone calls. Tomorrow I hope the same high school calls be back.



  1. Wow! What a trip. Love reading about your experience. Love the new blog header too; the irony makes me smile. I bet in a million years you never figured you’d be doing what you’re doing. But then again, Papa has a strange way of bringing us down new paths.

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