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Mystery May
The Mystery of the Smart Teacher



The Mystery of the Smart Teacher
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.14

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    detention, embarrassment, flush, hard-earned, knowing, tactful, teaching, timid, entire, quiet, blackboard, failure, shocked, smith, aside, tears
     content words:    Founding Fathers, United States, Stan Smart, George Washington


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The Mystery of the Smart Teacher
By Colleen Messina
  

1     Quiet Ms. Smith did not know about the spitballs flying in the background as she attempted to teach her very first history class. All she heard was loud laughter as she wrote down the names of several Founding Fathers on the blackboard. She spun around to see spitballs scattered on the floor like spilled popcorn at a movie theater. With a flush of embarrassment, she tried to discipline her students but without success.
 
2     What Ms. Smith did not realize was that a fellow teacher had been observing the entire sad scene through the classroom window. After class, Mr. Grade took the new teacher aside for a little chat.
 
3     "How was your first day?" asked Mr. Grade in a tactful tone. Mr. Grade was an experienced teacher with salt and pepper hair and an immaculately groomed mustache. He did indeed look as though he would run a tight ship in his classroom.
 
4     Ms. Smith, the brand new college graduate and teacher, ran her thin fingers through her gold hair. Her blue eyes filled with tears that spilled slowly down her cheeks. She had such noble aspirations for her students! The lack of discipline in her first class was appalling.
 
5     "Oh, to be honest with you, it was horrible. The kids did not respect me. I just finished sweeping up the spitballs from the floor so the janitor wouldn't see my dismal failure. It was a very disappointing day. What can I do to get control of my class?" she sniffled.
 
6     "It is quite simple," said Mr. Grade. "You just need eyes in the back of your head." His steel gray eyes sparkled with glee.
 
7     "Ha, ha, very funny," said Ms. Smith. She did not appreciate suggestions about her head when she was suffering.
 
8     "I will show you," said Mr. Grade. "Your students will be shocked and dismayed by how much you will know about them. This is a little trick that they probably did not teach you in college."

Paragraphs 9 to 16:
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