Title – Welcome back…
By – Herningtyas N.
Am I a nice teacher?
Honestly, it is a difficult question to answer. Usually, in the very first meeting, I tell my students that I can be a very nice teacher or a “killer” teacher… It all depends on how they behave during the lesson and how well they improve in my class. Yes, I do that, as my first motivation to my new students. Can you guess how they usually react to my words? Surely, they smile widely or even laugh…
I prefer to say that I am only an ordinary teacher.
I will be nice to those teenagers when they are doing fine, and of course, I will give them some “shock therapy” when I assume they need it…LOL…
As teachers, we do realize that, especially in my country, students will be happy when they find there is no class because of the teacher’s illness.
Sure, most of them think so, not because they are happy about the teacher’s illness, but because having no class, even if they have to get a substitute teacher, is not a problem for them — a substitute teacher is “better” anyway, than the “real” teacher…LOL…
By realizing that fact, I try not to have any “hurt feelings” due to them. I mean, yes, I understand that, I know that feeling — happiness for having no class, due to the teacher’s absence or sickness.
Until one day, I got sick.
I had a serious problem with my leg and the doctor told me that I needed total bed rest for about three weeks. It was so shocking. I had so many classes. What could I say to my students about my three-week absence?
I could not leave my classes easily. I prepared some materials for them, at least, and kept talking to some of them who liked to join me online via the Internet. I thought, by doing so, I could help them if they had problems with their studies. I made myself “available” to them every night, reassured them that I would be there for them, although I could not come to school physically.
For the first three or four days, everything was fine. My students thought that I would be sick for a few days, but I would get better soon.
On the fifth day, some messages said, “Miss, I miss you,” “We miss your class so much,” “The class is so different without you,” “It’s so boring with the substitute teachers,” and many more.
Those sort of messages were coming to my email address, my facebook wall, my blogs… When it came to the second week of my absence, their messages sounded more serious and showed that they were really getting worried about my health. Some of them even started visiting my home.
I tried to amuse them when they came to my house. I said that they would have missed my angry voice more than my class, but they seriously answered that what I said was not true. They missed me. They missed my class. Then I just realized that actually I missed them too, so much. I missed my class,
I missed them, I missed their jokes, even their naughtiness!!!
That feeling was good in helping my recovery. So, soon after the doctor allowed me to work again, I returned to my school.
My first day back to school after my illness would be an unforgettable day for me.
Yes, I knew, they had told me that they, my students, missed my class and me. Honestly, I had never expected more than that. But…look… When I was walking through the school gate, the students were just getting into their classrooms. However, when they saw me, with no instruction,
they all said “hooray” and clapped their hands, and welcomed me warmly.
Some of them helped me walk, shook my hand and said, “Welcome back, Miss. We’re happy to see you again here, at school.”
Can you imagine how I felt? As I said before, I’d never expected that would happen to me — I can’t say I am the best teacher or the most favorite teacher there, so
I did not think I deserve that great welcome.
After the atmosphere got “normal” again and all students were busy with their own classes, and I am in my own class of course :-), I came close to Jane, one of the quiet students in my class, and asked, “Did the class miss me?” and she said, “Yes, Miss, ’cause
you’re always ready to help us and listen to our problems.
Jane’s answer couldn’t satisfy me, so I got John, one of the naughtiest boys in my class, and asked the same question and he said, “Miss, you often get angry with me for my naughtiness. At first, I hated you, but when you were not here, I realized that you treated me so special, no matter how bad my behavior.
I missed you when you were not with us. You love your students, I can feel that, so I think, you deserve to get our love…
I touched his shoulder softly and smiled. After I thanked him, I walked away slowly with some pain in my leg, which I did not pay attention to at all, because I was busy with my tears rolling down my cheeks. I do hope no students of mine saw that…