Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Confident (07/05/07)
TITLE: The Teacher
By Richard Schilke
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The English comp teacher entered the room with a self assured look on his face. In his arms were the tools of his trade, books. A roll of toilet paper also adorned the stack of books he placed on the desk at the front of the room. The students looked at each other, unsure of the teacher’s intentions for the first day of class.
Before any introduction, the teacher picked up the roll of paper and asked, “Who likes to go camping?”
Hands raised around the room as the expectant atmosphere changed from heavy insecurity to mild curiosity. A slight murmur could be heard as the students unleashed their guarded personalities and opened up to the positive approach of the self-possessed teacher.
Poised at the front of the room, the teacher continued with the next question. “How much toilet paper would you need if you were camping right now?’ he asked with a sure smile. He tossed the paper with an assertive motion to a girl that was sitting in the front row and told her to take what she would need. She caught the paper with a hesitant look and contemplated how much she would need. Naturally, the girls took more paper than the boys.
After the roll was finished being passed around the room and the teacher was sure that all had what they needed, he instructed the anxious students to rip the paper into individual sheets. The apprehensive girls were the last to finish the task; their hands shaking with anticipation of what was coming next.
The teacher chuckled as he announced, “For every sheet that you have in front of you, tell me one thing about yourself.” One girl had forty-nine sheets and she was the second person to introduce herself to the class. Everyone laughed and the silent apprehension was shattered.
At the beginning of first class, the students were timid. The self-assurance the teacher demonstrated became contagious as the evening continued. Confident that experience was the key to success, the teacher progressed through the semester, and by the end of the semester, the self-doubting students reflected the image of self-assurance the teacher exuded the first day of class.
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