Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Teacher (10/26/06)
TITLE: Once a Teacher ...
By Donna Haug
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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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