Invisible Backpacks by Tyler Barton

Tyler Barton

Sub notes

(period 3)

Hi! !

  1. JSYK: you got the good class. When the noise-level swells out of control, they will self correct. It steadies eventually. You won’t even need to look up from your book. Plus, sometimes, it’s like they just need to get out certain feelings they can’t express elsewhere?

  2. The good class is smarter than to copy. When they have out their phones they’re actually consulting online dictionaries. Don’t worry. There are jolly ranchers in my desk—help yourself.

  3. The good class doesn’t normally get lower than a B. Grade quizzes with this in mind.

  4. Things aren’t thrown in the good class, rather dropped. Accidents happen. Especially in the good class.

  5. Now, in the good class there is a kid (Colton) who will never sit down. And don’t bother trying to make him: he’s a good kid & will do all his work, only standing, bent over the air conditioner or hanging halfway out the window.

  6. Feel free to let them go to the bathroom as many times as they need. It’s easy to underestimate how hard the good class works, how much of themselves the put in to solving problems. It takes a lot out of them.

  7. The school is under a strict no-backpack rule. Kind of arbitrary, but yada yada, prevents concealing drugs & the like. But in this class, if a student does in fact bring their backpack, I usually turn the blind eye. Really, they’re a good class & you shouldn’t worry about it. What Backpack? is kind of our motto.

  8. Any perverse language (vulgar derision, ceaseless mocking, insensitive criticism etc.) directed at you or other students should be taken as irony. We’re neck-deep in a unit on satire. The good class takes everything to heart.

  9. Ellen is in the good class because she’s a radiologist’s daughter, regardless of the fact that she’s probably wrapped a fruit roll-up around the end of a ruler & is smacking herself/others with it. That aside: total angel.

  10. The good class won’t need help. But if you want to nudge them in the right directions on the tougher parts of their unit test (copies on the podium!) I won’t blame you.

  11. They’re a very nice-looking, good, clean little class. If anyone is absent, be assured: they have a decent reason.

  12. Now, the good class wouldn’t bring a sword to class. This is the good class, after all. So it’ll turn out it’s not actually a sword, regardless of that shrill ring when its drawn-out plus that glare it throws on the wall just before it slices clean thru the bully’s neck. Because, no, there you’d be wrong. Because this is the good class, where there are no bullies. And if some angel here decides to be bully today, for whatever reason, know it’s a fluke. A one-time thing. That’s all.

  13. (A student may offer to clean up the blood, & though it isn’t expected of them, go ahead and allow it. Thanks!)

Tyler Barton is the fiction editor of Third Point Press, an MFA candidate at Minnesota State University, and the owner of the domain Follow him @goftyler.