Lesson 36 To See Ourselves as Others See Us

Lesson 36 on Transparency

Every day at registration I spent twenty minutes with my form.  On two days a week we had assembly, but for the other three we had time for checking homework diaries and chatting.  There was a series of improving topics that we were meant to cover over the course of the year, but this was not strictly monitored.  If any problems or difficulties arose we would discuss these.  Personal issues, of course, required a private meeting, but general concerns which affected the whole group could be raised.

One morning we were discussing some practical problem that had come up with regard to PE.  The class had to dash from one side of the large site to the other and get changed within a tight time frame and they were always getting into trouble for losing part of their lesson.

In my best teacher-involving-the-class-in-finding-a-solution mode, I was seeking suggestions for overcoming the difficulty.  My attempts however were causing the two pupils immediately in front of my desk to dissolve into helpless giggles.

“What on earth is the matter?” I let my curiosity get the better of my well-meaning pupil involvement strategy.

“It’s just so funny, Miss!  You do it every time!”

“What do I do?”

“You work round the class till you get to your favourites!”

“But I don’t have favourites!”  I protested

“Oh yes you do Miss! All teachers do!  Roseanne’s your favourite, then Sheelagh, then Catherine…”  I stopped them before they worked through the class with unerring accuracy.

“But how can you tell?”  They didn’t seem to bear me any ill-will about the pecking order, but I had been convinced that I treated them all the same.

“We’ll show you, Miss,” they said kindly. 

One of them then adopted my best encouraging teacher voice.

“What do you think about it, Mary?” She smiled brightly.  “And how about you, Tracy?” Another brisk nod and smile, then she lowered her voice to a warm, approving tone. “And how about you, Roseanne?”

Point made!  I was stunned into silence!

“We can tell you which teachers are your best friends too, Miss, if you like!” they offered.  But enough was enough!  I didn’t doubt their ability!

Teachers beware!  Nothing escapes the many pairs of eyes and ears that observe you every hour of every working day!

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