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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Teacher (10/26/06)

TITLE: Once a Teacher ...
By Donna Haug
11/01/06


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A staccato scratching sound echoed through the room while white dust fell to the ground. “Pay attention, girls. No chatting!” Though each was a carbon copy of the other in looks, I certainly had no trouble telling them apart. They could not fool me. I did not have to compare where that little mole was on the side of a face. I knew my students well. “I have put some math problems on the board. Lynette, why don’t you come up here and start?”

The twin girls sat on the stairs and looked at each other. “You go, Laura. I don’t wanna.”

“No, it’s your turn. I just did that silly diagramming of the sentences.”

Lynette reluctantly shuffled over to the chalkboard looking like she was asked to interpret Chinese. She turned her big blue eyes to look up at me. “Can’t we do something different? I don’t know how to do multiplication yet.”

Sensing I was about to lose total control, I put on my most convincing voice. “Come on. It’ll be fun. You can learn this. Look, it’s easy.” I turned to the board and did my best Miss Lewis impersonation as I tried to show systematically how closely multiplication linked to addition. Unfortunately, I must not have been quite as fascinating as Miss Lewis. My classroom was disintegrating before my very eyes. Lynette started drawing pictures underneath my carefully laid out math problems. Laura ran off chasing some bug that had just scurried by. The sigh that escaped my lips sounded very grown-up to my ears. I put my hands on my hips and gave my sisters that look – the one my mom did so well.

Laura interrupted the lecture she knew was about to be laid on her. “Oh, come on, sis. We don’t want to play school anymore. It’s boring. Can you take us to the school playground? Please?” Two pairs of eyes looked hopefully up at me.

“Well, ok. But I’ll see if we can borrow a basketball, and I’ll teach you how to make some free throws. You’ll love it. I’ll go tell Mom where we’re going.”

As I turned to run into the house, I just caught a glimpse of a knowing look pass between my sisters. A loud whisper echoed through the garage that had doubled as our school. “Does she always have to show us how to do stuff?”

I smiled and mumbled to myself, “That’s all right. They will learn to play basketball, and they are going to love it. I just know it.”

******

Thirty years later, a staccato scratching sound filled the classroom while dust fell to the ground. “Pay attention, kids. No chatting!” I turned from the chalkboard to face my own three children sitting at their home school desks. My oldest was drawing pictures on her math sheet. The other two watched intently as a grasshopper crawled across the window screen. Tapping on the desk I said sweetly, “Come on. It’ll be fun. You can learn this. Look, it’s easy.”

... Always a Teacher!


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This article has been read 1004 times
Member Comments
Member Date
David Story11/05/06
I like this. Thanks.
Now, excuse me while I tend to the white dust on the floor.
Jan Ackerson 11/06/06
I like the frame formed by the title and your last line. Clever and creative.
Joanne Sher 11/06/06
This is delightful! I love how you framed it - and all the wonderful details. Fine job!
Pat Guy 11/06/06
Oh yes - once a teacher always a teacher! And I'll bet she could see her sisters in her offspring sitting before her! Double whammy!

Good job and good work!
Jen Davis11/07/06
I loved this! You caught me off guard at every turn. I liked how you repeated your plea: "Come on. It'll be fun ... it's easy." This is really adorable and a wonderful keepsake for your own children. A+
Sara Harricharan 11/08/06
This was cute, I thought the twins were really in a large school in the first paragraph, that was a great twist near the end.
Betty Castleberry11/08/06
Very cute. I like the way you wove the past into the present at the end. This was good!
Catrina Bradley 11/08/06
Loved you story! I was reminded of how I used to make my own little sister sit and be my student while I "taught" her. Good job!
Laurie Glass11/08/06
You made me smile with this one. Clever piece.
Val Clark11/09/06
Loved the way you kept me guessing through most of this and then brought it full circle at the end. Well done. yeggy
Edy T Johnson 11/18/06
This is so easy to read, so well put together! Your story certainly illustrates how God's plan for each life can manifest itself early on. Nothing here to critique, as it is absolutely perfect, from title to closing words. Thank you!

And, thank you for your most appropriate comment on my own "teacher" entry. You are right (I had too much material to cram into one story :)