[After our summer break, school’s back today in Australia. Well, let’s qualify that statement. In South Australia, some students are back in the classroom, while the rest are learning online. So, a break from my travel missives and a journey back in time to my teaching days…]
The Trials and Tribulations of a Student Teacher
[Note: Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.]
After the proverbial reading of the riot act the following lesson, my teaching limped along in an unsteady truce; actually, less resembling teaching, and more akin to animal tamer in a circus. And with each passing lesson, Luke took on the characteristics of the ringmaster. I should’ve seen then, that my high school teaching days were numbered and made a quick and painless exit, at that time…
The final week of my Practical Teaching, culminated in Luke’s mastery of revealing my failure as a teacher. On that Wednesday, my supervising teacher, poked her head in the classroom and said, ‘Alright, Miss T, you’re on your own.’
I glanced at the thirty faces looking to me for control and instruction. I gulped. ‘Okay.’
‘Any trouble, send the trouble-makers to me,’ Mrs S said before abandoning me to my fate.
As soon as her footsteps faded down the corridor, Luke, with a glint in his eye, pushed over a desk. ‘Oops!’
Danny kicked Ben into his desk. The wood splintered with a sickening crack.
Ben leapt up. ‘Why you…!’ He raised his fists. Danny launched at Ben and thumped him. Ben grabbed Danny. The boys fell to the floor, wrestling, turning tables, kicking up chairs, grunting and struggling.
Tiny Bill whined, ‘My pen! My pen! Someone’s stolen my pen!’
All the while, Luke lounged in the far left-hand corner of the room, laughing.
I stomped and cut the air with my hand. ‘Right! Luke! Danny! Ben! Bill!’ I swished my cutting-hand to the door. ‘Off to Mrs S!’
Out the four trooped to an unimpressed Mrs S who issued them with uninspiring, but necessary in Luke’s case, grammar sheets to complete.
I salvaged what was left of the class. With pens set firmly in their hands, I set them to work writing a story based on a poster I had brought in. Maria, obviously not satisfied with pasting her face with foundation, though, “accidently” spilt liquid paper all over her desk, chair and herself.
Meanwhile, Mrs S, showed her dissatisfaction of having to supervise these four stooges on what she hoped was her “free lesson”, by marking my assessment sheet for classroom management as “unsatisfactory”.
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2018; Updated 2022
Feature Photo: Window of Wisdom © L.M. Kling 1985