Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: STRESSED - Begins January 18 / Ends January 25 (01/18/18)
TITLE: A TEACHER'S NIGHTMARE
By simon davis
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Five minutes later everyone was inside and sitting down, more or less in the correct places. Several bags were still on benches and the chitchat was continuing. Please can we all get our things out ready to start? I pleaded. It was necessary to be vague about this request as these kids didnt have books. No textbooks, another result of modern, enlightened educational thinking. No exercise books, either. Give them out countless handouts and pieces of paper for writing on and watch half of them lose it all within a week. Still the chat continued. I decided to use the individual approach and walked up to two of the chatterers.
Alan and Chris, what are you going to write your work on?
Do we have to work today? The response came out from a mouth full of chewing gum.
How many times have I told you not to chew gum in class? I countered, my frustration growing by the second. Please spit it out in the bin.
Wheres the bin? came the predictable response.
I looked round frantically. No bin to be seen. Perhaps that explained Jills using the bench tops for all the rubbish. Oh, give it to me, then, I sighed, holding out my hand, eyes moving in all directions to locate something to keep the gooey mess off my skin. Ah, Jills teacup. Just the job.
Now, is everybody listening? (Some hope, I groaned inwardly). Can anyone remember what we were talking about yesterday?
We didnt have Physics yesterday, piped up a voice from the back of the room.
I thought rapidly. OK, can anyone remember what we were talking about last lesson? Silence. Eight heads were still not even looking in my direction. One boy was miming a rock-and-roll tune, swaying from side to side on his stool.
I seized the opportunity.
Jonny, what can you remember about the lever?
Isnt it the largest organ in the body or something?
Ha-ha, very funny, but this is Physics, not Biology. I was starting to sweat profusely. Can we all remember the experiment with the weights and the metre rules? I was now getting desperate, resorting to leading questions. A hand shot up. A response at last!
Please can I go to the bathroom?
No, youve only just come in after a fifty-minute break.
But I need to go
Then youll just have to cross your legs for the rest of the lesson
I decided to try a change of tack.
Right, well continue with your presentations. David, please will you come out to the front? You did your project on Einstein, didnt you?
... Thirty minutes later I slammed the classroom door behind me in fury.
These Year 9s are unteachable! They just wont shut up and listen. Whatever am I supposed to do with them?
Oh, theyre only kids, piped up Veronica, a teaching colleague. I came across much worse when I was working in London.
I just stared back at her, lost for words.
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