SCENE 1, INTERIOR. NOON, HALLWAY. The teacher and a fifth-grade boy exit the lunchroom and begin walking down the hall toward the classroom. After a minute, the teacher glances over at the strangely silent boy, remembering the boy’s reaction to the first few days of school.
TEACHER: Remember when you used to hate me?
[The boy says nothing at first, but gives a huge grin].
JOEY: Yeah, but I don’t hate you anymore.
TEACHER: Yeah, I know; I’m your favorite teacher…probably of all time...maybe forever, too. [Pause] I’m pretty awesome, actually.
JOEY: [The boy thinks for a second with a furrowed brow]. But doesn’t everybody hate you at first, Mr. Z?
[The teacher puts on a haughty look and nods].
TEACHER: Yeah. After all, if everybody already loved me, it would be far too easy. Where would the challenge be then?
[The boy shrugs].
TEACHER: In fact, you should probably be worshipping the ground I walk on.
JOEY: Like everybody else?
JOEY: That must be some valuable ground, Mr. Z.
TEACHER: You have no idea.
Fade to black.