The influences of a school teacher, in a class of “throw away” students, translated…
That quiet scene would, often, come back to me. Like I was right on the verge, of entering through the doors of the classrooms, hearing the kids inside getting rowdy. I’d intentionally turned the knob slowly, and, heard a holler, “Teacher is here!”, then, all the noises died down, everybody rushed back to their assigned seats, the over sixty pairs of eyes, followed my steps into the class. It was, kinda fake, but, it was, really hard to come by, that they were, willing, to fawn their good behaviors for me like that.
Students with the Special Talents
The year I’d graduated university, computers weren’t prevalent, I’d handwritten out résumé after résumé, because I’d not taken any courses in the education department, so I can only send all my résumés to the private colleges and universities. The over thirty schools up north, I’d tried, gotten NO replies. And finally, a private institution in Beitou had, called me for an interview the next day, I’d clenched tightly to the letter, with a ton of gratitude inside my heart. As I was preparing all the paperwork, my professor came to visit me in the dorms, he’d asked me, if I’d wanted to become a teacher? n I’d nodded, he’d wanted me to head to a private school in Sanchong the next day, to take the spot of his wife. Before I came to, the professor told me, “The students there weren’t properly behaving.”, and just like that, I’d, started my teaching career.
what the class look like, photo from online…
From the summer sessions that started in July, the principal told me, that I was in charge of the last middle school year’s Ai class; before he’d left, I heard him whispered to the manager of the personnel, “If this doesn’t work, then, we can only, break up the class then!” Later on, I’d known, that the classes of Zhong, Xiao in the schools are for those students who were going to continue their education, while the Ren and Ai classes, are classes that students are blowing off, to pass their times in; and of the two, the Ai class had already switched a total of homeroom instructors, and, if it didn’t work this final time, then, the students will be “adopted” by the personnel manager and the principal then.
The moment I’d stepped onto the podium, I’d encouraged the Ai class, to exceed the Zhong and the Hsiao classes, told the student a whole bunches of rules, don’t know how many times I’d repeated, “You can do anything, if you put your minds to it” already in one day. And still, my speech had, gotten the response for some of the naughtier kids, “Teacher, don’t be a fool!”, which made the entire class burst out laughing, I’d gotten a bit angered, of how I wasn’t, in control of the atmosphere, and, yelled for this particular student, to get up and stand behind the class for his punishment.
a class of hard-to-teah students, photo from the movie…
A week later, the exam grades had, slapped me hard on the face. The better classes couldn’t made enough A’s in the physical science tests, and, everybody in my class all just made the passing lines, then, I’d, bought some lollipops to encourage them.
The third-year middle school students, on the weekends, needed to be forced, to head to the school to study. Once, almost everybody in my class called in absent, and the reason were that their grandparents are having a birthday, and they all needed to, go back home to celebrate the occasions, I’d felt, that something was up, and called someone from the class, “Hsiung already told me the truth, are you going to tell me what’s going on too?”, I’d acted like, I’d known everything already.
“How could he? We’d made an agreement!”, and, before long, truth came out; turns out, that in the second-year, the class got into the trend of stealing the mo-peds, and those who didn’t do it will get laughed for chickens, and so, there were, over a dozen of my students who were, caught by the police, and, on the weekends, they all needed to go to juvenile court, to write out their letters of apologies, and, X, who was leader of this “ring”, has more than his own share of troubles; but, X has a special skill—picking locks. Once, I’d complained about how many rules and regulations the school made up, about lab usage, and so, he’d asked me to take him there, and, in front of me, he’d, picked the locks in just a short moment! As I was surprised at his skillfulness, he’d asked me, to “look forward to what’s coming next”—he’d spent Sunday night, and, switched out the locks on all the classes, and on Monday morn, all the school’s student body all waited outside of their separate classes, for the locksmith.
At the moment, I’d, looked at him with my slanted gaze, he’d winked at me, to keep his secrets. And still, unfortunately, I wasn’t, able to, direct him on the right paths in life, I’d read about his bad acts from the newspapers a lot then.
the label on the outside of the classroom here, photo from online…
The Developments After Two Decades from Graduation
Classroom management required more than yelling and screaming, and punishments, I’d needed to, use some actions, to make them want to behave. After school, I’d set up the nets for badminton, and played on the courts with them, and wiped the floors with them, and, so, they were all in awe, at my skills, and, slowly, took me in, as their homeroom instructor.
Other than badminton, I’d also taken them to roast up the yams at the Er-Chong Flood Release gates, playing bandits and cop, and what’s crazier, was that I’d led them, on their bicycles, and, ridden very fast, up the Guan-Ying Mountain, then, with our bikes on our shoulders, we’d, run towards that huge slope………those days were filled with sunshine, and our sweats, I’d not forgotten to this day.
Although their performances in class, rarely gotten me the thumbs up in the teacher’s meetings, but, they’re all, cherished treasures in my mind. On the planning of the graduation ceremonies, some teachers had said, that the awards that each class has separate winners get moved all to the first two classes; after all, the fiftieth place in their classes, scored HIGHER than the first place scorer on the exams in the Ren and Ai classes, the person who’d mentioned this new rule believed that that, would be the fair thing to do………
“What’s fair? The Zhong and Hsiao classes already received the BEST of resources, and care from the schools, when, did Ren and Ai classes ever gotten a ‘job well-done’ from the school? The students may be below average, but, they’re, hardworking too, shouldn’t they, receive an award for their hard work as well? And, can’t we, give the Ren and the Ai classes, a formal graduation that they’d earned the right to participate in?” I’d spoken aloud, as a rookie first-year teacher, and, I’d, offended a ton of senior instructors and managers by so doing, and, although retaliation was in my future, but, I’d worked hard, and, after a couple of year, I’d, earned the rights to be on the same levels as they are.
So, how are all these kids doing, after almost twenty years since their graduation? Most of them started working and were married now, some of their kids are in the elementary school that my wife teaches at right now; some picked up a viable skill, and, fixed up the plumbing, and installed the steel windows when we moved into our new residence; the girl who didn’t shine through with her grades went into nursing school, worked hard, and earned a master’s degree; some worked for twenty years at a company that manufactured glass, and is now, a manager in the company; there was, also, a very quiet girl back then, who’s now, the close news correspondence of President Tsai……So, isn’t life, a wonder?
Life surely IS a wonder, but, I’m more than certain, that this instructor’s being kind, fighting for his students’ rights had, totally, made a deep impression in the hearts of all his students, which was probably, why some of the kids were driven, to work hard, and became, successful, in their separate areas of expertise.