Number one for English language teachers

Anecdote: Getting away with it

Type: Anecdote

Mary Whitsell realizes that there is such a thing as karma as an impromptu and rowdy class fails to get the better of her.

One horrible Friday, a colleague called in sick at the last minute, so I had to teach a two-classes-in-one lesson I had no time to prepare for. There were more students than there were chairs, and chaos quickly ensued.
 
After shouting 'BE QUIET!' to no avail, I scrawled it across the board in four-inch letters. An instant hush filled the room.
 
Aysa, a terrible know-it-all who lives to catch me out, stared at the board, her mouth hanging open. 'Tee-cha QUIT!' she shouted.
 
What?' I said.
 
'Beekwit!' she shrieked, half rising from her seat. 'Tee-cha, miss-take!'
 
The boy next to her pointed to the board. I turned around and saw what I had managed to write in my flustered haste: BE QUIT!
 
But fate was with me.
 
'Open your books to page 58!' I spluttered, after correcting the offending error.  
 
All fifty students opened their books and half the class began to smile and nod. One boy laughed out loud and gave me an appreciative wink. And I then read the instructions to the lesson I had so hastily cobbled together: Find the mistakes in the text. Our first lesson was on error correction.
 
Aysa cast me a baleful look. Her arch enemy, Mary the All Grammatical, had slipped through her fingers again. My very first whopper of a mistake in that class and I had completely and utterly got away with it.

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