As an English teacher, I have to be careful about the things that I say to my students. A few days ago, one of my co-teachers told me that one of our students would not be coming to school today, because he was ill. Normal enough at this time of year, I thought. She went on to say that his mother had mentioned to her that the student did not want to come to school, because I had said something about him having a big face. I insisted that I had had said no such thing and that I had never commented in any way on a single student’s appearance and never would.
I taught the class, without the student, a little concerned about how I could have upset him. The other students seemed happy enough. As I finished the class, I worked out the problem and went down to the staff room to explain what had happened to my co-teacher so that she could relay it to the student’s mother in Korean.
In a previous lesson, I had tried to encourage the students to complete a lengthy homework assignment by telling them that they were very clever. As they were quite young (8 years old), they did not understand the word “clever”. To try to explain the word, I had drawn a quick cartoon on the board of a balding professor with an enormous, domed cranium bursting at the seams with brains. The students seemed to understand at the time, but I guess that kids sometimes get the wrong end of the stick, and this had thought that I was calling him and the rest of the class mutants.
I hope that we have fun in the lesson tomorrow.