The Ingredients For Success

| VIC, Australia | Learning | April 26, 2017

(I live in a very loving but poor household, and it is a constant struggle for my mother to put food on the table, and even then sometimes she isn’t able to. I’m told that for a major assignment for Home-Ec. (cooking) we have to make a meal of our choice, and buy the ingredients ourselves. I am at a complete loss with what to do. The teacher is pretty tough as well, and while I’ve never had any problems with her she knows I hang out with several students she has put in detention several times for what we perceive as trivial things. Seeing no other option, I go to the teacher during recess with some friends.)

Me: *explains financial problems*

Teacher: *without pitying or condescending tone* “That’s no problem. What were you going to make?”

Me: “Um, toffee apples from an old Woman’s Weekly guide.”

Teacher: “And have you got the ingredients list with you right now?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Teacher: “Okay, come with me.”

(She takes me and my friends to the classroom, pulls out the ingredients I need, and puts them aside for the assignment.)

Teacher: “I know the recipe says for more, but we only have three apples, so I won’t mark you down for that.”

Me: “Thank you so much. I really had no idea what I was going to do and you’re really helping me out here.”

(I’m most grateful of how calm and normal she was about the situation, and didn’t make a big deal about our family’s financial woes. Come the day of the assignment…)

Teacher: *explains basics of assignment*

Student #1: “But, miss, I can’t do this, my family is too poor! We can’t afford it!”

Student #2: “Yeah, mine, too! It’s not fair on us!”

(Everyone in the class knows they are lying, and I’m extremely offended but too embarrassed by my situation to say anything.)

Teacher: *glaring daggers* “Then why didn’t you come to me for help?! I had a student come to me who couldn’t afford the ingredients and we got it arranged for them! So you have no excuse at all!”

Students #1 & #2: *dead silent, I think mostly out of surprise, because they didn’t realise there was anyone in that bad financial situation in their class*

(I got a good mark on the assignment although the recipe didn’t turn out how I was hoping, and always held that teacher in high regard. Yes, she was a little hard-nosed, but she truly pulled through for me when I needed help and was so casual about it, like it was just another job a teacher should do. I will always remember that story fondly. I’m glad I was able to give her an example to use in her classes against slackers trying to get out of doing work.)

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