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Classroom 206

Principal Wartz
Now class, I have a very important announcement. Your teacher, Miss Slovak, has left the teaching profession to pursue her dream to be a professional golfer. Hence, she'll no longer be your teacher.
(The class gets up and cheers loudly. Wartz erases Miss Slovak's name from the board.)
I expect all of you to be courteous, kind, and cooperative toward your new teacher, Mr. Simmons.

(Wartz writes "Mr. Simmons" on the board. Mr. Simmons enters the classroom.)

Mr. Simmons
Helloooo, class!
Entire Class
(Unenthusiastically) Hello, Mr. Simmons.
Mr. Simmons
I bet you all have your own, individual way of saying..."Hello"!
(The class sighs)
When I say "Hello class", everyone respond in your own, individual way. Hello class!
(The class is completely silent.)
Well, that's one way to respond, by not responding. Silence often speaks volumes.
Principal Wartz
Ah, music to my ears.

(Principal Wartz walks over to the door, opens it and walks out of the classroom.)

Mr. Simmons
Okay. First, I'd like to play with the structure of this classroom. Let's break free, and move the desks into one big circle.
(The camera fades out. When it fades back in, the desks are arranged in one big circle in the middle of the room. Mr. Simmons is standing in the middle.)
I love getting to know a new class, so I thought we could break the ice by doing a communications exercise. This, (The class sighs. Mr. Simmons reaches down and picks up a crown.) is the Truth Crown. (The class looks amazed.) Whoever is wearing it has to look across the circle, and tell that person one thing they like about him or her.
(Mr. Simmons puts the crown on Helga.)
One thing you like about... (Helga looks across the circle and sees Arnold.)
Arnold
Arnold.
Helga
(She is nervous and surprised that Arnold is across the circle. Arnold looks across the circle smiling at her.)
Th-The truth, about Arnold?... Uh.. well...
(Arnold continues smiling. Helga slams her hands on her desk.)
I don't like his stupid football head!

(The whole class starts laughing.)

Mr. Simmons
No, no, no...no, that wasn't the idea of this exercise. (Puts his face to his palm.)

P.S. 118 Playground

(It is later on the same day. Most of the kids from the class are hanging out by the monkey bars.)

Helga
Form desks into a circle, wear a truth crown? What is this, some kind of a wacky cult?
Curly
(Hanging down from the monkey bars in front of Helga.) We have to get this guy!
Helga
(Folds her arms.) All the usual tricks?
Gerald
All the usual tricks.

(Helga arranges some of the kids in a circle as if she was a football coach calling a play.)

Helga
Okay, drop pencils at 11:30, switch names, random coughing. Curly! You fake violent illness.
Curly
Got it!
Helga
Stinky, you pretend not to understand English!
Stinky
Right!

(Helga puts her fist in the middle of the circle.)

Helga
Everyone know the drill?

(All of the kids put their hands on top of Helga's.)

Curly
Absolutely!
Phoebe
Affirmative.
Gerald
Alright.
Helga
Let's get him.

(The kids all laugh.)

Classroom 206

(Mr. Simmons is starting another lecture. He is standing in the center of the circle.)

Mr. Simmons
Class, I want to start by telling you my two main beliefs about teaching. (Helga pretends to yawn and points at the clock to let the class know that it is time to start playing pranks.) Number one, in my class, each person is a unique individual. (The class gets their pencils ready to drop them all at the same time.) And the things they do, good or bad, they do because that's who they are.
(The class drops their pencils.)
Ah, the pencil dropping ploy. Oh, it takes me back to when I was a kid.
Stinky
Could you repeat that, for I don't understand English!

(Helga laughs, Mr. Simmons walks over to her.)

Mr. Simmons
Uh, what's your name?
Helga
Harold.
Harold
What?
Helga
(to Harold) Quiet, Helga!
Mr.Simmons
Harold?
Helga and Harold
Yes?
Mr. Simmons
Now, have you two switched names in order to confuse me?
Harold
Slow down, I'm confused.
Mr. Simmons
Oh, now, now, I'm glad to see the tradition of messing with the new teacher's head is alive and well.
(The whole class begins coughing.)
Okay, I-I'm not going to get upset by all of this coughing, because that is who I am. And I accept that you all have to do your coughing prank because that's who you are. My second teaching belief, is students should never stop asking "Why?" Why Why? All through your life you should never stop questioning, because that is how you learn.
Harold
(Bangs on his desk making fun of Mr. Simmons) WHY! WHY! WHY! (Laughs)
Helga
(to Phoebe) This guy's a real throw pillow.

(Mr. Simmons takes a poetry book out of his bookbag.)

Mr. Simmons
Now, I thought we would take up where you left off on your poetry lesson.

(The class groans)

Harold
I know a poem. (stands up) There once was a man from Nantucket-(Mr. Simmons cuts him off.)
Mr. Simmons
That's fine, have a seat. Now, you see, the poetry I like is... experimental. "Doesn't have the rhyme" kind of stuff. Like this famous poem by Walter Charles Walter. The poem is called: "They Were Delicious". (Mr. Simmons begins reciting the poem) "I have eaten the tomatoes, that were on the window sill. (Harold steals Mr. Simmons' lunch and starts eating it.) Were you saving them for a special occasion? I apologize, they were delicious. (Harold finishes the sandwich.) So juicy, so red."
Helga
That's not a poem, it's just a long sentence!
Mr. Simmons
Now why don't each of you take out a piece of paper and write a poem that comes from, well, you.
Harold
Aww, forget it! (He waves his hand at Mr. Simmons.)
Helga
Who needs poetry? Your touchy-feely teaching method is bogus!

(The entire class begins banging on their desk rhythmically and chanting "BOGUS! BOGUS!" over and over again.)

Mr. Simmons
(to himself) They can taunt me, they can play tricks on me, they can laugh at me, but nothing can hurt me because I am stronger than all of them. Plus I have my favorite sandwich, turkey and tomato on watercrust to look forward to.
(Mr. Simmons walks over to his lunchbag and becomes confused when he cannot find his lunch.)
Wh-Where's my lunch? Has anyone seen a brown bag that was...
(Mr. Simmons turns towards Harold who is crumbling up the bag the sandwich came in while laughing.)
This is inhuman! (Mr. Simmons grabs his head.)
Helga
(to Harold) Ha ha ha, you broke him.
Mr. Simmons
You could have asked for some sandwich. I would have given you half.
(The class continues laughing at Mr. Simmons' dilemma.)
Now, I'm happy to stay here if you're going to attempt to be a class of students. Yet, I ju-I just may leave if you continue acting like a mob of wild animals!
Helga
Let's continue to act like a mob of wild animals!
Harold
Yeah!

(The whole class gets up and runs out of the classroom toppling chairs and desks in the process. Only Arnold stays for a brief second at the doorway, feeling sorry that he has helped torture this poor man. He then leaves with the rest of the class out the main school doors.)

Outside P.S. 118

Helga
(to Stinky) Well, we did it! We won't be seeing that granola boy Simmons in these parts ever again.
Stinky
We broke that teacher like he was an old hickory stick.

(Gerald comes sliding down the stair rail)

Gerald
Yeah, and tomorrow we'll get another sap!

(The three all walk away. The episode cuts to 8 o' clock the next morning as the school bell rings. Mr. Simmons is no longer the class teacher. Principal Wartz is once again in the room to make an announcement.)

Principal Wartz
I think I have the right solution to this class's discipline problem. Your new permanent teacher is... Mr. Goose! (The entire class laughs at the name Goose.) Well, actually, I should say... Lieutenant Major Goose.

(The door opens and a huge muscular man dressed in an army outfit enters. The whole class gasps. Goose walks behind the front desk and stands facing the class with his arms behind his back.)

Mr. Goose
I'll have complete control over this unit by 0 ten hundred hours!
(Later that day, Goose is lecturing the class. He is walking back and forth behind the teachers desk. The desks are arranged back into rows.)
You will all act as one unit! Unless I address you by name (Goose slams his hands on the teacher's desk.) is that clear?
(Curly decided to play a prank on Goose by dropping his pencil off of the side of his desk, smiling the whole time. Goose walks to where he is sitting.)
Who deployed that pencil? It was a calculated act! Since the foreign object is under your desk, I assume you are the enemy! What is your name?
Curly
Curly!
Mr. Goose
(Slams his hands on Curly's desk.) Your hair's not curly, boy! What's your real name?!
Curly
...Thaddeus.
Mr. Goose
(beat) Curly! Go stand in that corner facing inward!
(Helga laughs at Curly)
You've earned yourself a corner, little lady.
(Harold laughs at Helga)
And so have you, pally! Move! Move! Move!
(All of the children go to their corners. Goose points to Stinky.)
You! The remaining corner, now!
Stinky
Why?
Mr. Goose
Symmetry!
(Stinky goes to his corner.)
Now, any questions? Good!
(Goose picks up a teaching stick, there are 8s times tables written on the board. He begins lecturing)
Let's try it again!

(Goose moves his stick across the times tables as the class recites them. The class is forced to stand up.)

Class
Eight times three is twenty-four, eight times four is thirty-two.
Mr. Goose
I can't hear you!
Class
Eight times three is twenty-four, eight times four is thirty-two. Eight times...

(The camera fades out.)

P.S. 118 Playground

(When is fades back in, the class is hanging out by the monkey bars again.)

Gerald
This Goose is not a good man! Not a good man at all!
Phoebe
He seems utterly sadistic.
Gerald
What are we gonna do, Arnold?
Arnold
I wish we could get Mr. Simmons back.
Helga
Oh, please! Mr. Simmons, that touchy feely geek?
Arnold
At least he listened to us when we spoke.
Phoebe
He's innovative, responsive, and bright.
Stinky
He taught us to ask "Why?". Now that's an innovative brand of education.
Harold
(Walks over to the monkey bars.) Yeah! If only you guys hadn't been so mean to him!
Helga
You ate his sandwich and broke his spirit, you moron! (Helga steps into Harold' face.)
Arnold
Listen, I've got a plan.

Mr. Simmons' house

(The kids have taken the bus to Mr. Simmons' house to speak with him. Mr. Simmons is sitting outside tending his garden.)

Helga
(Leaning over the yard rail.) Listen teach: bottom line, we want you back.
Mr. Simmons
Well, I'm afraid that's not enough of a reason for me Helga... or should I say Harold. Good afternoon. (Mr. Simmons stands up and walks inside his house. He sighs while doing so.)
Gerald
I wish we could just show Mr. Simmons that we can learn. That we're not just a pack of raving lunatics.
Arnold
Come on guys, we've got work to do.

(The kids all rush down the street. Later that afternoon, the class is backing pleading for Mr. Simmons to come out and speak with them. Harold yells "We got presents" and Mr. Simmons says "Well..." and finally agrees to come outside. Mr. Simmons is sitting on his bench and the kids are all situated in a circle in front of him.)

Arnold
So why don't we start out with a free form poem?
Mr. Simmons
Alright.
Arnold
Gerald?
Gerald
Sid?
(Sid takes out a pair of bongos and starts drumming rhythmically. Gerald clears his throat.)
"I've seen the best minds of my generation, served up fastballs at the blacktop. Somebody yells "Car!", and they scatter like so many leaves in October wind. Then the bell rings and they're sitting back in their class staring at a pop quiz."

(Everybody claps for Gerald. Stinky puts on a paper crown.)

Stinky
This is my truth crown. And what I like about you, Mr. Simmons, is your caring and giving nature.

(Harold walks up to Mr. Simmons with a paper bag.)

Harold
Mr. Simmons, I-I made you something.
Mr. Simmons
(smiles) For me?
Harold
It's a sandwich. (Harold gives a bag to Mr. Simmons.)
Mr. Simmons
This is very touching. (Mr. Simmons looks into the bag from Harold.) A replacement sandwich. And more importantly, it's a Harold Berman sandwich, because right between the turkey and the tomato is a little, invisible layer of love. (Harold smiles.) Friends, your presentations have really moved me and, because of who I am... I wanna come back and be your teacher.

(All of the kids cheer)

Helga
Wait a minute, you bunch of chuckleheads! (she holds her finger up.) We have one very big obstacle... Lieutenant Major Goose.
Phoebe
Well, we'll just have to deploy a strategic strike of our own!

Classroom 206

(It is the next morning and the class is back with Lieutenant Major Goose in the class room. The words Math Quiz today are written on the board. Goose is standing behind the teacher's desk.)

Mr. Goose
Now you little bunch of ragtag fourth graders! I'm determined to make each and every one of you a socially acceptable human being!
Gerald
(raising his hand) Why?
Mr. Goose
Why what?
Gerald
Why are we ragtag?
Mr. Goose
You're undisciplined!
Arnold
Why do you have to yell all the time?
Stinky
Why are your shoes always so shiny?
Helga
Why aren't you still in the army, did you go AWOL or something?
Mr. Goose
Sit down!
Gerald
Why did you decide to be a teacher?

(Goose begins to look nervous.)

Phoebe
Why don't you ever ask as what we think?
Mr. Goose
Enough questions!
Arnold
Why don't you treat us like individuals?
Stinky
Why are your pants ironed so nicely?
Gerald
Why don't you teach us anything?
Curly
Why do fools fall in love!?
Mr. Goose
Stop these questions!
Helga
And why are you starting to sweat, Leiutenant Major?
Gerald
Why can't you handle all of our questions?

(Goose begins humming an army song.)

Stinky
Why are you humming that patriotic song?

(Goose collapses to the floor on his knees, bombarded by the classes questions. The entire class minus Arnold begins laughing at Goose. The camera switches to Goose's point of view for a few seconds, humorously showing the faces of the children distorted. After a few seconds, Principal Wartz enters the classroom and breaks Goose out of his trance.)

Principal Wartz
Why are you doing this, Mr. Goose? Is this part of the lesson plan?

(Goose stands at attention as if he was in the army.)

Mr. Goose
Sir, may I be relieved of my duties here, sir?!
Principal Wartz
Does this mean you're quitting?
Mr. Goose
(Goose salutes Principal Wartz.) Sir! Yes, sir! (Goose runs out of the classroom and down the hall screaming.) YYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHH!!!
Principal Wartz
What am I going to do now?
Arnold
Uh, Principal Wartz. You don't have to look for another teacher. We found the right one.

(Mr. Simmons walks into the room.)

Mr. Simmons
Hellooo, class!
(The class cheers loudly.)
Now, I know we had that scheduled math quiz, but schedules are for Lieutenant Majors.
(Mr. Simmons erases the words "math quiz today" from the board.)
Today, we're going to have some unscheduled learning. And what better way than to take a hike and have an outdoor picnic! What do you say?

(The entire class cheers.)

(The episode ends showing various snapshots of the class at their first trip with Mr. Simmons. They show up on the bulletin board. The camera fades out.)

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