Communicaton Skills   Leave a comment

“You are late Miss Baxter!” barked Miss Bagnall. I jumped in surprise. I hadn’t seen her lurking behind the door.

“So…sooorry Yvonne,” I said as meekly as I could. You stupid old bat! I was thinking inside.

“This is becoming quite an occurrence lately Freda,” she replied stiffly.

I continued to the classroom. For most of the day I was able to avoid the Head due to playground duties and such like. But in the last lesson of the afternoon, Tommy Shaw was being particularly obnoxious. He was unsettling the others, and things were definitely getting rowdy. Just as I was going to nip it in the bud Miss Bagnall threw open the door, and stared with a steely-eyed stare at Tommy, just as he was turning someone upside down off their chair.

“Role-play,” I volunteered hopefully. “Tommy tends to get carried away.”

“Sorry Miss Bagnall, sorry Miss Baxter, sorry Ivan for knocking you off your chair,” muttered Tommy looking down at the floor.

“Sit down Tommy and I’ll say no more about it. Miss Baxter I would like to see you after home-time,” Yvonne said with one eyebrow raised.

After the last bell had rung, and the last child had struggled onto a bus or into a car with their bag and coat, I made my way to the office.

“Freda I’m sure you are aware that you seem to be under a bit of pressure at the moment. Your class have always been difficult, but they seem even worse this year. Now my niece Samantha is in her last year of teacher training, and I’m going to put her in your class for her Teaching Practice. Now won’t that be a great help?”

I knew what she was inferring. She was saying I wasn’t managing, that my class was out of control. Now she was putting a spy into the camp to witness my downfall.

“Thank you Yvonne,” I managed to say.

I couldn’t sleep that night. I could see my job slipping away from me, my beloved job that I had worked so hard to get. No I’m going to fight back. I’m not going so easily. I set my alarm for an early start.

I dragged myself out of bed the next morning, and into the bathroom. Standing under the hot steaming water I planned my day ahead. I would get in early and have the classroom all set up before the children got in. I dressed neatly, checked my bag to make sure I had everything I needed, and drove to school. Besides the care-taker there was nobody else about.

“Good morning Miss Baxter. You’re in bright and early,” remarked Bob, who had seen many a teacher come and go. I said nothing. I just nodded and smiled.

I slipped into my classroom, and organized everything for the first lesson. I was ready. Then I headed to the staff-room to be greeted by a surprised Yvonne and her niece Samantha.

“Good morning Yvonne. This must be your niece Samantha.”

I proffered my hand. Samantha offered a dainty hand back. Her nails were perfectly manicured I noticed. She was very pretty I had to admit to myself as she smiled sweetly at me. She had swirly, dark blonde curls, baby blue eyes behind her small gold-rimmed glasses and her nose and mouth sat perfectly right with her other features.

The children were delighted to have a new face to look at. Tommy Shaw was definitely in love, and acted like an angel for her.

I’ll just sit back and let her at it, and then we’ll see what she’s made of.

I sat at the back of the room writing up lesson plans, and waited for Miss Perfect to fail miserably. But she was good, very good. But then I noticed Lottie mimicking Samantha behind her back. Lottie had been a hard nut to crack for me. She didn’t trust easily. This was because she had learnt early that trusting somebody can get you hurt. I had gradually built up trust with her, and she was constantly at my side. Lottie saw me watching her. She looked at me and smiled. I smiled back.

After that, Lottie let Samantha know that she didn’t want her around.  She would only do anything if I intervened. At first I was happy about this, as I could see it was throwing Samantha, and making me look good.

I had taken to coming in early every morning now, and without the rigour of laying down the law every day, I began to have fun with the children, and found that they were being more responsive to me. One morning about three weeks after Samantha had started, I heard sobbing coming from Yvonne’s office, and Lottie’s name mentioned. Samantha didn’t come to the class. So I started the lesson, and then Yvonne knocked at the door.

“Samantha won’t be coming in today”, she whispered. “Come and see me at break time and I’ll explain.”

So when the bell went, I made two coffees and took them into the office.

“Thanks Freda. Samantha is a bit of a perfectionist. I think it runs in the family,” Yvonne said, attempting a wry smile. “Anyway she is upset that she can’t get through to Lottie, despite all of her efforts. I know you have a special relationship with Lottie, and wonder could you give Samantha some advice?”

“Me, give Samantha advice?” I queried, just to make sure I had heard her right.

“Yes, you are an excellent teacher Freda and you have years of experience. I know things have been difficult for you since John left you, and that is why I thought it would be good for you and Samantha to help each other.”

I felt the tears well up in my eyes.

“Tell Samantha I’ll have a word with Lottie,” I said, just as the bell went.

Advertisements

Posted November 5, 2014 by eileenmoynihan in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: