Daily Prompt: With or Without You

Tell us about the time you threw down the gauntlet and drew the proverbial line in the sand giving someone an ultimatum. If never handed out an ultimatum but secretly wanted to, describe the scene and what would you say to put an end (one way or another) to untenable situation.

I was confronted with this situation twice and happens to be work related. I will write about my first ordeal. It was my second year of teaching, I quit my first school hoping to get a better one in the big city. Initially I was ecstatic I got my dream job, and a place to live.Well then after observing the principal and his treatment of the teachers totally deflated my willingness to work.

He’d paid a visit to the classroom and start ridiculing the teacher in the presence of the kids. I wasn’t aware of all this before I took the job. I saw one particular teacher crying,the principal was so mean to her.

The kids loved watching the teacher crying.  I got the job of teaching forty-two boys in grade two. They were ill-behaved rowdy and their attitude was,”You can’t do anything to us.”

They were kids from wealthy families, the principal listened to any kind of complaint about a teacher and was always ready to discipline the teacher. This is where I started teaching in my second year.

My first day was interesting one of the kids came up to me and said, “you’re our sixth teacher in two months.”

I stayed quiet and watched them. The bell rang for recess ,before I knew what was happening, they vanished in minutes. I stepped out of my class to see where they were, the gym teacher smiled and said, “They are very bad, teachers hardly stay for two months and leave because they can’t handle them.”

I wondered whose fault was it, without any doubt I knew it was the principal. Next day I was ready for the little tykes. Five minutes before the recess bell, I locked the classroom door. I gave them an ultimatum, if anyone stood up when the bell was rung they’d have no recess. There was complete silence, I guess they thought where did she come from. I asked them to stand up and start walking out the door quietly. There was no problem and from that day I was their favorite teacher.

My major problem there was the principal, his attitude towards the teachers was  nothing I could be happy about. I was ready to resign from the job the first week. I wrote my resignation letter and went to hand it in to him on my tenth day in that school. You should have seen how charming he was when he saw me. I hesitated but got all of my courage together and handed him my letter.

He looked at me and said, “Is this a resignation letter?”

“How can you resign only after ten days?”

I know what I wanted to say but couldn’t  I lacked the courage, I said rather meekly, “I don’t like it here.”

He refused and I had to teach there for a little over two years. One thing changed he had a better attitude!


24 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: With or Without You

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  10. Dear Ranu,

    Thank you for sharing this. There are times when we must be assertive in order to influence things in a positive way. You’ve shared a great account of this.

    All good wishes,


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