A Sweet Story of Helping Our Teacher
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Many of us experience nervousness at some point in our lives, especially when we make presentations in front of large groups of people. However, when anxiety gets out of hand, it needs to be addressed and resolved.
Kind and Gentle
One of our high school teachers was one of the most kind and gentle people that I have ever known. She had beautiful smooth and silky hair and wore such pretty clothes each day that we all looked forward to seeing her just to know what interesting outfits she would put together that day – The wife of a Pasteur, she was very polite and modest. She always entered the classroom with a smile, and we truly admired her since she was such a respectful and soft-spoken person whose beauty radiated with her every footstep. The lesson started with the standard daily greetings, where she would ask us how we were doing, and we would answer her back – She was obviously nervous.
Standing in front of all of us seemed to almost always make her panic, and her hands would shake meekly as she wrote on the chalkboard. Out of compassion for her, we all told her that we would simply take notes rather than ask her to write, because it was obviously very painful for her. Whenever she spoke, she did so very softly and quietly, so we had to be very attentive to what she was saying. Nervously, she would tremble whenever she tried to explain something to us, and her cheeks would change color as though she were about to faint. Nobody knew about the term “Panic Attack” at the time, but somebody would always rush over to give her a chair to sit on when it looked like she might faint right then and there.
Although she seemed to be very nervous, she was like a mother for us. We felt that we could ask her anything we wanted to know about life, and she was usually very friendly and open when she spoke with us about our personal challenges. Some students were almost always going into the staff room to find her and talk about our experiences from day-to-day, and she was always very open and receptive to our needs.
However, we also recognized that she was thinking about transferring to another school, and we were so attached to her that we designed a plan to help her feel more comfortable. We would wait for her outside of the classroom and ask if we could have an open discussion about the topic of the day rather than have her lecture us, which was obviously the greatest challenge for her. She was delighted with the idea, and before the discussion we asked her all kinds of questions about her life, her experiences, her family, etc. This helped her to relax, and she gradually began to open up to us as a group, which stimulated more open dialog during our exploration of the class topic for the day. Eventually, we got through the entire lesson and learned a great deal more about the subject than if we had simply waited for her to tell us everything that we needed to know from the lecture. The whole thing was very relaxing and intellectually stimulating.
We took it a step further and arranged ourselves into groups, where we would read the teacher’s notes to the class one at a time, and we took turns being the “teacher”. If any of us missed anything, somebody else would fill in the gaps with their own comments, and we proceeded with the next section. This helped learning to become truly enjoyable rather than a burden or a chore, and we also had the wonderful experience of helping our teacher, such a sweet and sensitive person to open up. We had taken on the role of the caring and loving class rather than just watching somebody struggle and fail – The whole thing seemed to be possible due to our lovely teacher’s kindness and sensitivity, which was instantly endearing, and encouraged us to treat her with tenderness and care.
By the end of the class, we had completed all of our discussion rounds and performed extensive research into the subject at hand. Everything was flowing smoothly as we covered all aspects of the day’s lesson. What began as a strategy to help our teacher to relax transformed into us becoming ever more effective at learning about what we needed to know for our final exams. We were one of the top performing classes in the district to this day, and many of our classmates have since become successful teachers, university professors, some lawyers, high-level judges, and even senior government officials.
This was a wonderful lesson in love, compassion, and intellectual enrichment, which I still remember to this day.
- Anonymous Contributor