MEMOIRS FROM SHC  #autobiography   #memories   #reflections

SHC was an all-boys’ school in England and most of the kids who attended the school were from disadvantaged backgrounds. The boys thrived on one form of mischief or another. They hated boredom. Sometimes I wished they would display such enthusiasm in their academic work as they did on mischief acts. The head teacher Ms. Pickjo, loved the boys. She wanted them to do well but they were a constant source of grief. They were a pain in the backside and in the heart. One day Ms. Pickjo burst into tears on the year 11 assembly grounds.

“What have I not done for you boys?” She lamented. “And yet you keep treating me with so much disrespect” she beckoned on the deputy head teacher to take over the early morning proceedings and walked away.

A few weeks back, she had confided in her deputy that this was the most challenging school she had ever worked in, in her over thirty years of education career. Ms. Benkath, the Deputy Head teacher took over the assembly. She was very cross with the boys and rained brimstone. She ended on a reflective note with the boys and this sobered them a little. However, they actually thought the whole experience was funny. Put it this way, they seemed to have enjoyed seeing Ms. Pickjo in that situation. You know that feeling when you score a goal or your team scores a winning goal – it was a subdued version of that sort of elation. I thought that was very mean and sad of the students. They could not care less!

It was the next period after break, people were still streaming to their classes and my class was lined up by the wall waiting to enter the classroom. The period after break was always very tricky. Getting all the boys to their classes as quick as possible was always a challenge. All hands had to be on deck. Shoving, pushing, being edgy, and sweating after a quick footie game, separation of fights, keeping the students orderly, were all part of this great move. It was in the midst of this, that Ian Brown, the little git, chose to demonstrate his hormone overflow.

I wasn’t particularly a small guy in size. I weighed over one hundred and twenty kilos and my bulk was quite commendable. Yet, Ian chose to ignore this and tempt me to commit a sin against the teaching profession.

After managing to get my students into the classroom, Ian decided to flex his muscles further by switching off the power button on my interactive white board. I ignored it and went to turn it back on. Just after turning it on and facing the students saying, “today we are going to”, snap, the board went blank and off. It was Ian again. Some of the students giggled while some were beginning to get peeved. I turned around to look towards the door and I saw a shadow escape out of the room.

“Sir it was Ian, sir it was Ian”, chorused some of the students.

Calmly I turned around and switched on the interactive whiteboard again.

Waiting for it to power on, I could feel myself telling myself, “be calm, stay calm, do not be tempted”.

“Alright boys, sorry about that interruption, let’s get started. As I was saying before, today we will be…” blank, the board went again.

At this stage I thought my last nerve has been tripped and God help me!

I bowed my head and heart in humility and said “God please help me before I do something that I will regret for the rest of my life”.

I called on young Adrian and sent an emergency note to the Senior Management Team on duty.

Frustrating times were setting in. After the initial incidence, I had sent out a call and nothing had happened. Here we were again in the midst of a major intrusion, an obstruction to learning and deliberate peskiness without an intervention. Would it be until murder is committed before intervention would arrive? Did they intend to call the police or ambulance? What happened to the good old saying ‘prevention is better than cure?’

Well, give it another go, I told myself. I turned on the interactive whiteboard and just as I was about to start off, Ian walked boldly into the room and pulled off the cable connecting my lap top to the interactive whiteboard.

My face turned red, then black, and then red again! But the fact that I am alive today and not in prison and I am still in the teaching profession is a proof that there is a Being who answers prayers. I never believed that I could be that imperturbable; I can’t explain how or where I got all the unruffled mien from.  What I can say is that He prevented me from committing premeditated crime against education!

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  • Dennis Posted May 4, 2019 9:57 am

    Ian was just disgustingly rude, rash and lacks good moral upbringing. It was nice you got the nerves to tolerate his malfeasance. The moral lesson from your story is tolerance and the fear of God. By extension, education which exposes one to in-depth knowledge of child psychology, played a dominant role. Well done Mbot

    • Uwem Mbot Umana Posted May 4, 2019 10:11 am

      That’s what makes us teachers, we must have the emotional robustness and resilience to handle the different students that come our way!!! The profession is not for everybody.

  • Gideon Wachira Kariuki Posted May 1, 2019 5:08 pm

    A very powerful story indeed. Such times can be really challenging…very relatable

    • Uwem Mbot Umana Posted May 2, 2019 4:47 am

      Thank you for your comment. This is real!!

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