The Substitute Teacher: Hooked with a surprise

The ST surprises the children again — this time with an activity that all the children loved!

January 03, 2023 01:13 pm | Updated 01:13 pm IST

Story so far: VI C is not happy with the ST’s choice of class monitor but it miraculously solves two problems at the same time!

Everyone in VI C knew what happened if a teacher didn’t come to school. Another teacher was sent to keep an eye on them. The first time ST walked in to keep an eye on them, the students sat up. They knew by now that the ST wouldn’t behave like the other teachers. They were right.  

That day, the ST taught them a word game, the next time he conducted a quiz. VI C grumbled because it recognised these as ways to teach. And they had had enough of learning. So, they were suspicious when the ST walked into their class for the third time. What would he do?  

“‘I am going to read to you,” he announced.   

“Stories?” someone asked and the ST nodded. Delighted looks were exchanged and a happy murmur swished through the room. VI C sat frozen while the ST read out a story. When it was over, someone suggested, “Another story?” and everyone agreed. The ST was astonished. He read out another story and had just begun the third when the bell pealed. There were groans from VI C. They begged him to stay and read more but he couldn’t.

VI C grumbledat how soon the class had finished. “Perhaps, he’ll read us another story the next time he comes,” Rehan said.  But the others were not so hopeful. They were certain there would be another quiz. 

The story strategy 

To everyone’s surprise, the ST not only came the next day but also read two stories. The next time, he had an idea. “Why don’t you borrow books from the school library?” Some groaned and others told him about how they were not allowed to touch the books in the library. No one mentioned that someone had torn pages out of magazines or drawn pictures in books. But the ST understood and offered a suggestion. “Let’s have a class library!” he said.  

Who would bring the books? Where would they keep them? And who would read the books? The ST had answers to all the questions. With his help, VI C soon had a small library. It was hidden in the broken desk and kept secret from the other teachers. But when the ST came, he was offered a book and invited to read.  

VI C settled down and listened to the teacher who read them stories. They were still thinking about what they could do about the ST. But that could wait for another time. 

(To be continued)     

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