In 2014, after a brief orientation course and a few fingerprinting sessions, Nicholson Baker became an on-call substitute teacher in a Maine public school district. Nearly every morning, he awoke to the dispatcher's five-forty a.m. phone call and headed to a nearby school. When he got there, he did his best to follow lesson plans and help his students get something done. In Baker's hands, the inner life of the classroom is examined anew -- mundane worksheets, recess time-outs, surprise nosebleeds, rebellions, griefs, minor triumphs, kindergarten show-and-tell, daily lessons on everything from geology to metal tech to the Holocaust -- as he and his pupils struggle to find ways to get through the day. Baker is one of the most inventive and remarkable writers of our time, and this book, filled with humor, honesty, and empathy, may be his most impressive work of nonfiction yet. -- adapted from book jacket.