Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The little scary ones

When my Managing Editor first broke the news to me yesterday that I had to do a presentation for 160 school kids on how my magazine works, I freaked out. 160 freakin' primary school children! No joke that, I tell you.

And suddenly, I was plummeted back into the days when I was doing relief teaching at a tuition centre.

I remember this one particular class I had to take. The lady who called me said, "It's a one-hour class, but you know how it is. The effective teaching time would be about half an hour." I wondered why. And now I wonder why I wondered why.

The class had about 15 kids. Handling 15 kids is not a problem. Handling 15 hyperactive 7-year-olds is! The younger they are, the more difficult it is to control them and get them to listen. They don't quite have a mind of their own, and yet they do. (Did I make sense there?)


The class was from 12:30 - 1:30 pm. Here's how it went.

12:30 pm
I enter the class. The kids stand up, "Good morning... "
Suddenly they froze as they realised that they were greeting a complete stranger.
"Who are you?" one of them asked.
"I am your replacement teacher for today."
"What happened to Miss Chan?"
"Errr... Miss Chan is getting married. She won't be teaching you anymore."
"But why?"
"Errr... I don't know..."
"Okay."

12:35 pm
I surveyed the classroom. It was not very big. I had a desk and chair to myself, and there
was a huge table, around which the kids sat.

"Okay everyone, settle down. I'll take attendance now." I said.
The kids ran around the table for a while.

12:45 pm
The kids finally settled into their chairs.
While taking attendance, I called out, "Chester!"
"Present..." came the reply. From under the table!
I peeped under the table, and there was young Chester, grinning away.
"Come out, Chester."

"Why, miss?"
"Because... all your friends are outside."
"Can't I sit here?"
"No, you can't. Come out now."
"Why not, miss?"
I made my way under the table and put on my "stern teacher face". (Yes, I have one.)
"Well, you can't. Come out. NOW!"

Chester meekly crawled out. The others started giggling.

12:55 pm
"Phew!" I went back to my desk. I sat down and looked up. Suddenly the class looked weirdly empty.
"Where are the others?" I asked.
They started giggling again.
One of them pointed under the table.
So I had to go and look under the table again. There they were, six imps, hitting each other with stretched rubber bands.
I pulled them all out.

1:00 pm
They were all in their chairs. Finally.
One boy shot his hand up, "Miss, I need to go to the toilet."
"Ok. Be quick."
"Me too!" Another hand.
"And me!" One more.
"One at a time, okay? One at a time." I said between gritted teeth.

1:05 pm
I started teaching.

1:25 pm
"Blah... blah... blah... and blah. Any questions?"
A hand shot up.
"Yes?"
"May I go to the toilet now, Miss? He is back."
"Okay, you may. So, any questions?"
"I have one!" This fidgety little boy raised his hand.
"Yes?"
"Miss, are you married?"
"Wha... ask me questions about the topic I am teaching, okay?"
"Yes, but are you married?"
"No, I am not."
"Miss, do you have a boyfriend?"
I am sure even if I had said I was married, he would have asked me the second question anyway!

"Okay, ask me questions only about what is written on the whiteboard, okay?"
"Okay, Miss, why does the whiteboard have the wrong date? Today is the 15th, not 14th. Hehehehehe!" Everyone starts giggling. I try not to pull my hair out.

1:30 pm

Class is over. I almost get run over by the herd of galloping kids.

Sayesha slumps into her chair and vows never to teach a class of 7-year-olds again.



23 comments:

virdi said...

hehehehe.. kids are cool but not electrons which never rest.. hey kids "The Miss" now has a crush on someone and is not willing to tell anyone.. ;-)
V..
PS: mera time kharab jaa raha hai.. mere ko bahut jaldi hi padne wali hai.. hehehe..

Keshav said...

Sitting under the tables !! now thats funny :). I myself was a "scared kid" ..as in scared of teachers ..so no naughty stuff(they used to hit on the knuckles and all that crap). U were a "goonda" type kid , I assume ;-).

B said...

Its always funny and thrilling to fool around the teacher.. enjoy teaching!!!

Shuuro said...

Hey, there are not that bad, may be they asked wrong questions! :). In my life when ever i said "never" and it turned out to be "ever". Today, My little cousin sister, from distance she glanced at the image of fat chick in the washing machine and for a moment she thought it was real and ran towards the computer. :))

Shuuro said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
priya said...

he he he.. i remember the times wen we elderly std 12 folk were sent to handle the primary classes sumtimes.. they were a handful!! "akka ( big sis) can i go to the toilet " was the most popular question.. i see now tht its universal :)
..p..

raven said...

all the best, dudette!

my fisrt experiance with such a bunch of kids was also my last!! total sympathies with you :)


.. and i'm still stuck @ the choice between "Don't", Messenger & Personally conveying the message :(

Sayesha said...

Virdi,
Yaar bachon ke saamne pol mat khol yaar! ;)

Keshav,
Yeah, I was quite the gunda type kid, I think even some teachers were scared of me! :P

Bala,
Thanks, man. But I don't teach any more. I stay at a safe distance from the little monsters and publish magazines for them! :P

Shuuro,
Fat Chick seems to be a big hit with the li'l ones, huh? You should buy her one! :)

Priya,
Yeah, we used to do that in school too! And yes, it is the most common question! How much do they pee, man?

Raven,
Hehe... thanks! :)
Hope you can decide soon, man. Like I said before, if you've got a little casual crush on her, saying it over messenger is fine, but if you've seriously fallen for her bigtime, I would think saying it personally would be the best.

Sahil said...

Thanks for the invite to Koh Samui Sayesha. I am SO on for that, given that it was my idea (which you craftly mind-read off me, and passed it of as ur own). January is a bit far man, I was thinking more October/early November. Chaleyga? Sahil se finally mil paoge aap - but please, don't be overawed when you meet this 40 year old Gotliawala. The babes all go crazy when they see my tond.

and kids really are too damn funny at times. You don't know if you should be angry with them, or if you should crack up and laugh with 'em!

angelsera said...

hey Sayesha,
dont think u can beat me though :) even the principal of my school was scared of me.At least tt is wat she told my parents when they went to get admission for my younger brother.She had 'smilingly' said "Oh you are ...'s parents.She asked me to make sure her brother gets admission, so I dont have much choice right?"

angelsera said...

Sahil,
EXAMS!!we have exams in Nov!!mostly mid nov.
n I checked for Dec,everything is booked and damn expensive.
I am poor student cant afford it already.

Sayesha said...

Sahil ji,
Ok fine baba, it was your idea. Acknowledged. Khush?
Considering how my life has been lately, I SO deserve a holiday after my exams! Even a small one would do.

ps: I don't think the delicate Thai babes will quite fancy your tond. But you can always try :)

//and kids really are too damn funny at times. You don't know if you should be angry with them, or if you should crack up and laugh with 'em!

Hey hey, are you talking about me now? Since you're 40 and all! :O

Angelsera,
I don't think I can wait till next year. I so need a holiday to look forward to. Otherwise this year will never pass.

Siddhu said...

Lol Sayesha!! Hilarious!!!

Btw, what's Virdi talking about?? Gossip always sounds interesting, miss, so why don't ya spill da beans. :D

Jasmine said...

Sayesha.. they actually trusted you with seven-year-old kids? :P

Hope your presentation goes well.. :)

Manish said...

Kids will be always kids!
Just remembered this incidence after reading ur post!
Kuch hi din pehle ki baat hai ek mitra ki bachhi (3.5 years old)ko class mein ye sikhaya gaya ki jab bhi toilet jana ho one should say
I want to go to Toilet anyatha jane ki izazat nahin milegi.

Next day when the kid felt the need usne miss ka hath hila kar kaha Go to Toilet/Go to toilet !
It took some time for miss to understand that the above statement is not for her but for kid herself! Par tab tak jo hona tha so pant mein hi ho gaya :):)

Nice post Sayesha! padh ke maza aaya :)

Rahul said...

This is so funny :-) Kids are fun. BTW, this post reminds me of Galvin's blog...One of the funniest blogs I ever read...Check it out at http://kindofcrap.com/ He was in Japan for teaching Japanese kids.

Jagan said...

15 hyperactive kids ...sounds like a helluva experience :-)

Sayesha said...

Siddhu,
Don't listen to Virdi's bakwaas. You're supposed to be on my side, remember? Do you want that Harry Potter book or not? :P

Jas,
Welcome to the club of people who have earned the right to make fun of Sayesha. Although I don't know you, but I hereby declare you a honorary member :)
ps: The presentation was fab! They were so cute -- they smiled and said "Bye, Editor!" when they left! :)

Manish,
Oh my God! :O

Rahul,
Yeah I know what you mean. I am very freaked out by kids (especially when they are in large numbers) but I simply adore them! :)

Hey Jag,
Welcome and thanks for dropping by. And yes, it was quite an experience!

ahaan said...

looks like u had a great experience with kids , no matter how much they irritate u but when u thnk abt them they always make u smile .....

Sayesha said...

Ahaan,
Yeah, that's true. A big reason why I love my job so much is the letters from the kids! :)

Sahil said...

They all love the tonds. The only thing u hafta be careful about is that they ARE girls, and not delicate guy-girls.

Sayesha said...

Can't wait to see the beach babes at Koh Samui running after the tond -- Baywatch style. I'd better take extra memory cards for my cam! Hahahaha! :D

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