Sirwin
Sirwin

One of Life's Ironies.

By rah | rah | 21 Jul 2022


This is part of a piece I wrote recently for an old school Facebook group that I belong to, but first some context:

For many years I have been working as a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) tutor and while I still do that I have in the last decade or so diversified, initially into teaching English for businesses and then as a natural progression soft skills and business coaching which I do more of than anything else now as my core career has evolved.

I am more of a business consultant and coach now than a tutor in the truest sense of the word. I work as a native speaker and my client base is made up foreign nationals (although strictly speaking I am the foreigner) and that is what adds irony to this story as it concerns my "French French" teacher - and on this occasion I treated her dreadfully. If one of my students behaved like I had... <I'm not going to finish that sentence>

FranceI had once particularly memorable moment in the third year (and I am not proud of it) which is kind of ironic the way my professional choices worked out for me. I was still in Set 2 for French, only now our teacher was Mrs Armstrong or Froggie as we called her as she was a French native. For some reason she wasn’t the most popular teacher in the school and I was actually pretty good at French at that pre-exam course level, but one day I found myself in her class in one of my more disruptive moods.

I have now reasoned that it was because I was bored and the task she'd set was too simple – but who knows?

So consequently I didn’t feel like working and as I've already said I soon got bored. The classroom was organised into pairs of desks that ran to the left and the right of the classroom with another set along the middle from her desk almost to the back of the classroom. I sat middle back with my best friend Elton on my right and Paul another great friend was sitting in the row against the wall across the aisle from Elton.

So I got up to borrow a rubber (eraser for my American friends) from Paul. Only I went via the front of the class and around the back of the teacher’s desk. I then came back the same way. I then sat and picked Paul’s rubber apart and started throwing pieces at people randomly until Mrs Armstrong decided enough was enough.

She asked me to bring my book to show her what I had done. The lesson had been going for about half an hour and I had written maybe three lines. She then took my book off me “because I wasn’t working” and told me to go and sit down. A few minutes later I was being disruptive again and she told me to get on with my work.

At that point I lost it!

I stood up in such a way that I knocked my desk over and expletives included, I asked her how the ____ I was expected to get on with my work when she had my ____ing book

She kicked me out of the class.

Being in the corridor during class time with no valid excuse was a dangerous place to be if Mr Hillyer (Deputy Head and main disciplinarian in school) was prowling the corridor. I got lucky on two counts that day because first and foremost I didn’t encounter him and then when I went back in to collect my things when the class finished she asked me to stay behind so she could speak to me. I can still see her to this day when she told me I was her best and worst student at the same time and she asked me not to behave in such a way again. I simply apologised and she let it go.

She was far more gracious than I deserved.

And now 36 years later I reflect on how it is funny how things work out.

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rah
rah

I love reading and technology as well as history. I teach English and Business to professional clients as well as soft skills with a focus on communications. I am a big fan of both Sheffield Wednesday and Lincoln City Football clubs


rah
rah

Experienced Business Owner and Coach and Tutor who now trades in Crypto. It is proving to be an interesting journey with so much technical language involved. Follow me as I learn the trade (and how to trade). Made some howling mistakes to begin with, but still learning and will share what I learn as I learn it for the benefit of the community. - RAH

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