Number one for English language teachers

Anecdote: First time with teenagers

Type: Anecdote

Lenora Queiroz tells us why you don't always need to be afraid of teaching teens

I had been teaching for about two year when I first faced teaching teens. The school manager invited me into her office and asked me if I could substitute an absent teacher. Sure I could! She then told me to have a look at that teacher's roll call, notes and books that were in her pigeonhole in the teachers' room.

As I entered the teachers' room, I felt lots of eyes on me, as if I was wearing something weird! But no. The teachers started asking me if I was the one called to teach THAT dreadful teenager group at 2pm. And without even listening to my answer they started chatting about the four previous teachers who tried substituting the sick teacher - that meant I was the fifth! I had never taught teens before, so when the bell rang, I was trembling within... but within only! Teens must not realise you are afraid of them!

I got the books, took a deep breath and went to the classroom... Amazing! There they were, chatting in a hot summer afternoon, with the fan turned on, and a soaked book under it. It was funny! I couldn't help laughing... Then this boy with huge black curly hair explained to me that as his book was completely wet, he decided to put it under the fan. They class was as quiet as a starry night... all waiting to see my reaction. I simply looked at him and asked: Can you iron? He frowned. Then I told him that I had a better idea: When he got home he should iron it page by page, and the book would be almost new! Everyone laughed, including both of us. At that moment I knew that I would have a great time teaching teens, and so would they! When the teacher got better and came back... we were all very sad!

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