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This Is One Substitute Who’s Really On The Ball

, , , , , , , | Learning | December 9, 2021

I am certainly not athletic and I am on the chubby side so I can’t even fake the appearance of someone athletic. I am also not particularly coordinated in general, and it is relevant to know that I am left-handed.

I was a casual (substitute) primary school teacher a few years back. While I didn’t want to be the kids’ friend per se, it doesn’t hurt to be known as the fun casual so long as they respect you and you can still get the work done. What I didn’t realise is that being the cool casual was even better. 

I was on lunch duty, strolling the sports field where kids of all ages were busy playing various games. Across came many of the “cool kids” from the class I was teaching for the day, about ten eleven-year-olds. They were chatting to me about various pleasantries when the notorious “bully” of the year shouted, “Heads!”

This all happened in a millisecond. The girls screamed. A couple of the boys shouted, “Miss, look out!”

I looked up. A tennis ball was hurtling towards my head, incredibly fast.

I lifted my right arm. I caught the ball right before my face.

Ten or so jaws dropped to the ground and then immediately burst into chatter. Everyone was congratulating me and asking if I used to be in the Olympics and so on. One of them asked, “How on earth did you do that?”

Being in some sort of twilight zone where I was actually cool, not to mention witty enough to say the right thing at the right time — which I really am not normally — I turned to them with a serious face and said, “That’s nothing. I’m actually left-handed.”

And that’s the story of how I accidentally became the cool teacher who held the best record for keeping the difficult class on task.

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