A Scary Surprise, A Lock-down, and Unexpected Respect
I was so excited to start Grade 4. Students got lockers instead of cubbies, and there was always a huge Grade 4-only party at the end of the school year. My face fell the second I laid eyes on my teacher. In my eyes she was scary. Her eyes seemed to pierce into every student's soul and she seemed easily angered and creepy. I sat down in my desk trying to avoid eye contact. I was so afraid she would shout at me, I was a deer in the headlights. Attendance started. As the names were called I began to tremble.
Ways of answering the tell-tale question of presence filled my mind. Should I say 'I'm here' 'Present', cough and raise my hand like I've lost my voice? Sweat poured down my face. The teacher was almost at my name.
I was alone in the class room. It was only me, the scary teacher, and the mocking attendance sheet. My eyes threatened to water and I gritted my teeth in determination. My name was next.
Her lips moved. I braced myself................................... it wasn't my name. She said it again. It was similar, but most certainly not my name. Then I recognized it. She was calling out the direct translation of my name into Hebrew! Without thinking I raised my hand and informed the teacher of my real name. She apologized and continued. It was a close call.
A couple of months passed by and I was still as afraid of her as ever. She had this method of marking work that involved calling students up individually to her desk to check their work. Being the smart girl I was I did my homework every night, but being the petrified student I was I never handed my work in. The thought of being shot down by that teacher sent chills down my spine. Soon I took to hiding behind pillars in the hallway to stay out of her sight. This went on seamlessly until December.
Every now and then our school would have lock-down drills. In order to hide ourselves from the imaginary invaders we would hide under desks, in corners and lock the door. The funny thing is that even though these drills occurred every few months and they never were the real deal we always dramatically hit the floor like it was a matter of life or death.
During this particular lock-down our teacher was printing something out in a different room. When the bell rang we stood on a chair and turned the deadbolt without a thought.
Soon we heard a banging on the door. In seconds we realized what was happening. We all burst out laughing. When the siren ceased we rushed to the door and found a disgruntled teacher standing there. We braced ourselves for punishment.........she was proud of us for not letting her in. Wow.
Despite several events indicating that she was a nice person I continued to be afraid of her. It was only at the end of the year that I begun to see her fun side. She always wore the most elaborate costumes on holidays and at the end of the year she created an EPIC water fight.
Now I regret being so quick to judge her. I mean there were instances she got mad (she asked me to glue ping pong balls on my favorite shirt for a play, and then there's the instance where a student threw a textbook to the ground and stormed out of the class...) but she was a fun teacher. Pretty cool, I mean as cool as a teacher can seem to a group of 9 year olds.
Tune in next time for more stories of the past with: The Chronicles of Calgary, Misadventures of a Model Student Part 3!!!