Number one for English language teachers

Anecdote: Not to be recommended

Type: Anecdote

Chris Ellison gives us an anecdote about an unfortunate incident with a board marker.

After a hard first week of term, meeting new students, learning names and discovering class dynamics, I got together with a couple of teacher friends for a serious 'debriefing' and beer session. We started discussing the difficulties some students have in learning simple things, such as the alphabet. One of my friends said that she'd been having particular trouble with a couple of executive business students, one of whom could say the alphabet while the other consistently made the same mistakes.

As an 'incentive' for this particular student she held the whiteboard rubber over his forehead and told him that if he made another mistake she would hit him with it. He laughed, and when he came to the problem vowels, he looked her in the eye and purposely said 'a' instead of 'e'. Complying with her promise she tapped him on the forehead, leaving a massive black smudge. The other student collapsed into hysterical laughter while my friend hurriedly tried to remove the mark with a paper towel...to no avail.

For the duration of the class, whenever she or the other student saw the big black board rubber print, they couldn't help laughing - it seems that although the board wipes clean, skin is another thing altogether. Lucky she didn't aim for his suit!

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