Number one for English language teachers

Anecdote: So much for a tidy classroom!

Type: Anecdote

I have the reputation of being one of those teachers who keep complaining about messy classrooms, littered floors, scribbling on desks and stuff lying around on the teacher's desk that does not belong there at all. Therefore, at the beginning of each English lesson, I ask my students to quickly tidy up so that the general disorder does not exceed my level of tolerance.

One morning I found the room of my youngest class (14 +) spick and span - except for the teacher's desk: a one-kilo packet of pasta (in the shape of little half moons) was standing in the middle of it. I have to mention that at that time we were working on the topics SHOPPING - FOOD - DRINK and in the lesson the day before the students had been encouraged to bring shopping items to class to practice dialogues.

The pasta, the last remnant of our role play, immediately caused offence to my sense of order. I grasped it furiously and was about to tell the student sitting closest to my desk to get rid of it, when hundreds, no thousands of little pasta half moons scattered the classroom floor and found their way even to the remotest corner.

Some cunning members of the so-often-reprimanded bunch had trickily manipulated the bottom of the pasta packet so that it would come off as soon as I lifted it!

Feigned outbursts of 'What a mess!' as well as reproachful glances in my direction followed, but after the initial shock I joined the teenagers' giggling and laughter and together we cleaned up the mess.

From Switzerland

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