Now about James... James is great with the kids. He has done every bit of paperwork and off-season planning for the basketball varsity for seven years. He runs grade checks for the basketball team each week and is a grades first kind of guy. He is tough but has a gigantic heart. One young man who graduated last year hit a rough patch and James and his wife took him in and he lives with James's family now. Our school has a bunch of students who come from the islands. James started an Islander Club so these kids would feel a sense of belonging at school. No other teacher would do that. James doesn't eat lunch with other teachers because he is in the school cafeteria eating with different students who may need a little extra attention. He's not being their buddy there; he is being their school dad. He is being a role model for kids who need one in the worst way. To be honest, I don't know for sure how much James knows about basketball but I do know that he's coached JV for a long time and has an overall winning record which no other coach at the school can say. I know that his teams consistently play harder than any team in school because those kids do not want to disappoint him. What else do you need?
Today James interviewed for the varsity job but in reality he's been interviewing for the past few years. I really hope that he gets the job because if he doesn't, he should leave. If he doesn't get the job then he is being told he's not good enough and the things he's done for the school and our students aren't good enough. I don't care who else applied for the job. If James gets bypassed for it, that hurts our students and that hurts me. It'd be like that cheesy teen romance movie where the girl wants the really handsome guy when in reality her soul mate and all-around awesome dude is right under her nose the whole time.
Caller Thirteen by Refe Tuma
This is a story told in the first-person by a young boy (12? 13?) whose mom wins a contest on the radio and is super excited about it. In fact, so is her ex-boyfriend Dante who starts coming around again.
Story: 9 of 10
I really liked the narrative voice. The young man describes things that happen (his mom having sex in the bedroom) without knowing what is actually happening. The ending is also somewhat surprising because the audience is thinking one thing and something different happens.
Teachability: 9 of 10
Again, the narrative voice would be what I'd go with here. It's realistic, unreliable, and fun.