The Situation Doesn’t Add Up

, , , , | Learning | August 8, 2017

(I am in my last year of school, which usually results in a relaxed teaching atmosphere because everyone who is still there really wants to learn. For the last two years of school students can choose most of their courses; however, maths is mandatory for everyone. I end up in one of those mandatory classes. Needless to say, none of the students are too interested in the subject, just trying to pass. That year we are assigned a new teacher who is pretty young and obviously excited to start his first real teaching job. On the first day of class…)

Teacher: *after his introduction, beaming at the class* “So that’s enough about myself. Now, are you excited to study some maths? Tackle those solutions!”

(Embarrassed silence follows his words. Finally, a classmate speaks up slowly:)

Classmate: “Mr. [Teacher], do you realize what sort of course this is?”

Teacher: “Sure? Year 13, Basic Maths?”

Classmate: “And… sorry to kill your buzz, but none of us chose to be here. Basically, we sort of hate maths, but we have to endure it to get our certificates.” *several nods and murmurs of agreement from the rest of the class*

Teacher: *looks taken aback and sort of crestfallen* “But… I mean… You’re all… I mean, really? But maths is fun!”

(In the end, we feel so sorry for him and his crushed hope that we come to an agreement: We’ll do the work willingly, no debating and moaning, as long as he accepts that this is certainly not ‘fun’ for us. In exchange he actually sets aside one hour per week for us to all play games together instead of doing coursework, complete with impromptu theatre or the occasional show organized by a student who was an amateur magician. It improves the mood so much that everyone puts in the work in their free time, and I actually pass the course with better grades than in the years before. At the end of the year, after grades are given and coursework completed, we have a couple lessons left with nothing to do, so we usually end up just chatting. On the last day ever, the teacher comes in and stands up proudly:)

Teacher: “Here’s to the end of my first year as a teacher. I’m happy to say you guys taught me more than I ever expected, and I want to thank you all for putting up with me and my apparently abnormal love for maths. May you all prosper in your non-scientific endeavours.”

(We all clapped and laughed. Afterwards, though, he added:)

Teacher: “Besides, I’m so f****** happy they assigned me the advanced class for next year. I’ll be with my kind again at last.”

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