Tuesday, 3 February 2004

Another Child Cries

I got little Esther crying today.

She's in one of my least favourite classes - T3. Six of them, they're mostly boring with small cheeky flourishes. Little Emily is a pleasant enough girl, and quite bright. She's brought down by her friends little Jane and little Sue, two little blighters. They're not stupid and Jane can be keen but I don't like their attitude. Little Timmothy (two m's) and little Matt are ok. Clever enough, but not outstanding in either intelligence, enthusiasm or personailty.

Little Esther is a particularly sullen child usually. Very quiet, not very bright, and puts in minimal effort. Today I was involving the whole class and she wasn't putting in any input. I pressed her for some, only getting the minimum after pressing very hard and threatening "OUT"

10 minutes later it was the same situation. She wasn't making any effort. Not a trace. I pushed and pushed - gently, not aggressively as I'm a pretty mild tempered teacher - but was getting nowhere. So I stormed up to the board and wrote OUT in big letters and her name underneath.

She was devastated. Tears welling then pouring. If I had slain the family cat and started guzzling away at its stomach she couldn't have been more upset. Actually, she'd probably start screaming at that, but if I'd simply shown her a photo of her dead cat, it would probably have got the same response.

Did I comfort this poor distressed girl. Did I hell! I ignored her, and carried on with my lesson, with the other kids in certain awe of their callous teacher.

Teaching has many highs and lows, but there can be few greater highs than making a child cry.

That is why I love this job.

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