Teacher: “Okay, so erm just wait outside”
Me: “What .. like here?..I –
Teacher: “Just here, by the door, so the students cannot see you.”
Me: “Oh okay, yeah sure..”
Teacher: “Yes, okay. Oh, and when I will ask you to introduce yourself, please don’t say too much. I want the students to ask you questions.. Okay, One second!”
…. The teacher enters the classroom without giving me time to reply. I hear –
Teacher: “Please stand!”
… I hear the shuffling if chairs, and assume the class stood.
Class: “GOOOOOOODMOOOORRRNINNNGGGG SIR!!! IT’S NICE TO SEEEEE YOUU AGAAAAIIINN!!!!” (it was very loud)
Teacher (smiles): “Yes, thank you. Okay, please sit”
… Class sits down.
Teacher: “Welcome to El Nido highschool school year 2012 2013. I will be your biology teacher for this year. Before I distribute your textbooks, I would like to introduce to you a volunteer teacher, Sebastian Lory.”
… 2 seconds went by, and then I stuck my head through the door, thinking that may have been some sort of cue for me to enter.
Teacher: “yes yes, please enter now!”
… The class clapped.
Me: “yeah, er, hi everyone!”
… The room was filled with 70 kids aged about 12. The classroom was segregated, with the girls on the right and boys on the left. They were all very well dressed and had all clearly spent at least 10 minutes in front of a mirror gussying up before coming to school (some of the girls were still at it, combing there hair and applying some sort of white powder to their face). After my entrance, the children all started giggling and exchanging little whispers. I can only assume they were talking about me. Made me feel a little on edge.
Teacher (to me): “Okay good. Now, please tell the class a little bit about yourself.”
Me: “Yes of course! Well, my name is Sebastian. I will be volunteering in the school for about two and a half months. Today I have just come to introduce myself to you all and the other classes, and I will begin teaching a few of you starting tomorrow!”
… Kept it short as instructed.
Me: “…..Do any of you have any questions?”
… I look over to the teacher who gave me a discreet nod of approval. So far so good.
I expected little, if any!! questions. The classroom exploded. It was as if I had just thrown a flaming torch into one of those extremely overpopulated bat caves. I literally moved backwards and lightly hit the wall behind me. I looked over at the teacher again, who was now quietly laughing to himself and clapping. I just froze there like a deer in headlights.
Teacher: “Okay okay okay. Thank you Sebastian.” …maintaining his smile, he said quietly to me, “Okay, you can exit now, and I will see you tomorrow.”
Me: “But don’t I need to answer the questions?”
Teacher: “Haha, yes, I think they have had enough for today. See you tomorrow!”
Me: “…haha yes (forced laugh), okay then! Bye!”
…I leave the classroom feeling like some sort of bizarre exotic pet someone had brought in on show-and-tell day. I start walking back to the principals office to find out who wanted to show me to their students next. As I walk away, the class still in chaos….
Teacher (to the kids): “Yes, yes yes… I know, I know… Now let’s all calm down”
… I walk about 10m further away from the classroom…
Teacher: “Wait! Wait!”
… I stop and turn. The teacher is jogging pretty fast towards me, almost a sprint really …
Teacher: “I forgot! Today is blue, so we wear a blue shirt. And tomorrow is a different colour, so please wear purple.”
Me: “I erm, I don’t know if…. I have pur-..
Teacher: “Haha yes okay! See you tomorrow, bye!!”
The teacher turned around, and ran off (this time it was definitely a sprint). He had to stop and walk the last couple meters.
I get to the principals office and the principal meets me at the door. I think he was about to leave.
Principal: “Hi Blass! Have you had lunch?”
(it was 10am)
Me: “Erm, no.. No haven’t got round to ….-”
Principal: “Okay, and breakfast and coffee or tea?”
Me: “Well.. I had a bit of bread before I came in.”
Principal: “Yes okay. Come, come. There is a fish.”
He led me out of his office with a polite hand gesture, and then headed for a nearby classroom. He seemed to be walking quite fast, and so I trailed a pace or two behind casually keeping up with him. We arrived to find there was indeed a fish, cooked, and about 15 teachers getting ready to dig in. The principal looked mildly disappointed. I think he was hoping to get there sooner. They all insisted on me getting a sizeable piece of fish. Turned out to be quite nice. The principal didn’t get any.
I will try and take some pictures of the students tomorrow, and perhaps film a little in class if the teachers let me.