John McCullagh April 18, 2005
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Some of the most amusing anecdotes originate in the classroom. 

I was teaching a class one time, a ‘rough’ class in a ‘difficult’ school in a ‘deprived’ area. Still everybody likes a story and I was reading them one. 

I hadn’t prepared and chose the story at random from an anthology of short stories.  Ironically the tale concerned the exploits of a rookie teacher in a run-down school, under the supervision of a strict headmaster.  I was hardly into it before I regretted my choice.  This guy was ME!!

 I had no choice but to blarge on. The story told of how the Principal, through the glass-paned classroom door, observed the rookie’s efforts to control the spirited youngsters, entered, tip-toed up to him and whispered some advice. A different attitude was adopted, attention was restored and order regained and all ended well.

There were a number of set questions to determine how well the class had understood the short story. Of course the first was, ‘What do you think the Principal whispered to the student teacher?’

As always happens, the greatest reprobate immediately shot his right hand high in the air, to indicate that he knew the ‘right’ answer. I was far too wise to allow this miscreant to speak, knowing well that he would likely come out with some profanity. Studiously ignoring his raised hand, I repeatedly called for offerings from the rest of the class. 

Not a one! But to the last man, they chanted at me that Doran’s hand was raised: that he knew the answer. I had no way out. I’d walked myself into it and I’d simply have to face the music! Wearily I requested Doran’s contribution. What do you think the Head said to the rookie teacher.

 With a cheeky but cheery grin and without a trace of embarrassment Doran said:

A word in your ear, master!

Don’t take no sh*t!!’

 If I was there till now, I couldn’t have come up with ten more apt words, in two perfectly balanced and concise phrases! I collapsed in a heap of laughter – which hugely amused that particularly troublesome class. I was still in fits when the bell rang some time later – and by then every boy in that class was taking his dead end at this teacher who was prepared to see the funny side of a pupil using a rude word.

 I never had a bit of bother with them again!

 

 

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