From January to May this year, I was given a Sec 2 class for History. They are a good Express class. Most of them are self-motivated and eager to learn. They are even a little too quiet and reluctant when it comes to group activities. They excelled in their SA1 results.
When Term 3 started in July, this class was given to another teacher, and my periods with them were replaced by periods with a Sec 3 class; I would not be the main teacher, but I was to co-teach and learn from the main teacher. The Boss wants to prepare me for upper sec History next year. (-.-)
Sometimes, when I walk past students of this Sec 2 class, they ask why I don’t teach them anymore. Some of them said they missed me, which was really sweet of them.
Yesterday, a girl from this class approached me. She is from Thailand. As with most international students in my school, she is very diligent and hardworking.
“Cher, can I ask you about History?”
My first thought was, “Why don’t you ask Mdm * ?”
But because it was so sudden, and Mdm * happened to be busy with the O level students, I said… ok.
And that was how, today, we ended up sitting outside the staffroom, with her and her friend asking me what is the format for history essays, why did Malaya not want Merger in the first place, and what were the factors which led to Separation, how do we answer SBQ questions that test on Purpose, etc.
Naturally, I was a little wary that Mdm * would suddenly come out and see us together. Which teacher would like to see her students going to another teacher for help? I worried that she might be offended.
If I were to end this post here, and say that the session ended uneventfully, without Mdm * ever noticing us, it’d be such an anti-climatic ending, wouldn’t it?
Well, SHE DID COME OUT.
From the corner of my eye, I saw her emerging from the staffroom door, my source of fear and worry. Acting cool and ignorant, I continued talking to the girls, explaining why studying from notes might be more beneficial than studying from the textbook. She walked past us. It was obvious. The Sec 2 History textbook was sprawled wide open on the table. I didn’t look up at all. But I saw the sheepish and guilty smiles of the girls, and I knew she had seen us. Even the girls knew they were going behind their teacher’s back!! Mdm * did not stop, she continued on her way to class. But I KNEW she had seen us. She had seen ME.
When the session finally ended a few minutes later, the girl again said:
“Cher, why don’t you teach us anymore? I actually prefer you.”
“Maybe if you choose History next year, I might be teaching you then.” I replied, remembering my Boss’ sinister plans for me.
“Oh I will definitely take History elective! Because I cannot understand anything in Geography at all!” She rattled on in her cute Thai accent.
I smiled and went back to the staffroom.
So, what do you think? What should I think?
It’s probably nothing. Mdm * might probably appreciate the help I was giving to the students. She might come and joke that they miss me too much.
But I also know her well. She’s an easily jealous person. She thinks for her own good. She manipulates to get what she wants. She complains to higher authorities. She can bear grudges. She is one of the few people in the school against which I have not let my guard down. What will she think about her students asking me for help instead of clarifying their doubts with her? Jealousy is a scary thing.
We shall see, won’t we?