My first day at school: It was a beautiful morning, the sun was shining, quiet everywhere, I was busy getting ready to meet my class of forty-two boys. Perhaps they were eagerly waiting to see who their Principal had chosen this time and how long will they wait to get rid of her.
I entered the classroom and noticed one boy who seemed prepared to let me know, who they were and how many teachers they got rid of in two months.
I looked at him, he observed me from head to foot, without any introduction he blurted, ‘You are our sixth teacher in two months.’
I watched him, he had that wicked look of an uncontrollable child. I ignored him took out the register to make the roll call. While calling their names I was preparing myself to deal with them.
At 10:15 am the bell rang for recess, I heard an uproar and within seconds, the classroom was empty. The boys were gone. I sat in my seat stunned that the six year old wasn’t kidding when he announced they had five teachers before me, this was a mere sample of their behaviour.
I only had eleven months experience teaching in a different school. This was a new challenge for me, which I took on without hesitation.
I’d like to give an account of myself before I go further. I finished my Bachelor of education, the course was about History of education, and other things that a student must know.
We were not trained how to deal with students or pupils we’ll face. In my mind a six year old will be meek and well-mannered. These six year olds were confident, rebellious, and treated teachers as if they were doing us a favour by being there. They came from rich families. They had everything they wanted, fear was unknown to them.
This was an institution where the teachers had no say in anything. The six year old had more power than us.
When I got this job I was asked if I was able to discipline these young boys. At that time I had no knowledge of this particular school. I took my job seriously, I knew I would never leave it even though the children were undisciplined and rude.
Next day before recess period, I told the boys, ‘You will not be be allowed to leave the room until I give permission.’
They looked at me and each other, there was pin-drop silence. The bell rang I let them stand, line up and go out row by row without making noise.
It worked for the two years and three months I stayed. When I look back I feel proud that I was able to stay there on my own term, and quit when the time was right!