I substitute-taught today—economics and British lit. Students in the latter are reading George Orwell’s Animal Farm. While students diligently completed their worksheets (grammar! vocab! reading questions!), I paged through the C.M. Woodhouse introduction, which quotes Percy Bysshe Shelley, who wrote in 1821, “Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.”
A student acknowledged my unsuccessful bid for Legislature between classes. He came up to me in the hall, bumped my fist, and said, “I’m glad you lost.”
“Really?” I said, my smile unbowed.
“Yeah, now you can sub more for us.”
Perhaps Shelley was talking about teachers.