O is for Oops, Of Course I Meant Ostrich!
Part of a teacher’s survival kit is to remember certain rules, one of which is never turn your back to the class. It is wise for a teacher to learn the art of writing on the board from a side-ways angle. We were all kids at some point and know very well the reason why this rule makes sense.
One particular slip up in my early years of teaching still remains with me today. I made the mistake of trusting my Year 11 class and waivered the ‘no turning your back’ rule. Uh-oh! Not a wise move with thirty 16 year old smart alecks. I should also point out that the kids are also very aware of this rule.
So the pranks began and I knew I had to react quickly or the lesson would spiral into the depths of a place I did not wish to visit. I had a lesson to teach. I took a deep breath in preparation and projected my voice.
“I wouldn’t do that, if I were you, Jack (made up name).” I continued to write on the board.
“How did you know, Miss. You’ve got your back to us,” said Jack.
Silence in the classroom. I felt good. I’d covered my mistake. But then, I opened my mouth again…
“Did you think, just because my back is turned, I have the traits of a flamingo?” I turned and gave Jack the glare.
He raised his eyebrows and smiled. My glower intensified; more out of disappointment in his uncharacteristic insolence.
He spoke. “Don’t you mean ostrich, Miss?” He paused, waiting for the penny to drop. “You know, Miss, it’s the ostrich that buries its head in the sand. Flamingos are just… pink.”
Well, I couldn’t hold my composure any longer. The laughter erupted, first from me and then the class. The lesson didn’t progress as planned.
Three years later, I went to the local pub with a few friends.
I looked over. I recognised the voice. It was Jack. He introduced me to his friends as the coolest teacher he’d had in school and bought me a drink. Bless. He still remembered the ‘flamingo-ostrich’ event.
This event must find its way into one of my stories at some point.
Have you even gone a step too far and made a fool of yourself?