Posted: 20 October 2007 at 2:58am
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Kripa remained silent, she didn't know what to do or say to start whatever they were supposed to do. After a few long seconds, Angad finally said something 'So let's start now?'
Kripa gave her unique-awkward-smile which she had adopted the first time she had to smile in front of him. 'Umm…yah.'
They both sat down, Angad sat in his chair and Kripa sat across him; opposite him.
Angad began 'So how many students are there in your class?'
Kripa replied 'Twenty four, sir.'
Angad wanted to tell her not to call him "sir" but "Angad" but later he decided against it, for the time being. 'So that means I'll be handling 12 of them only? Each time I mean.'
Kripa-Yah…I mean yes.
Angad-That's good. Easier perhaps.
Kripa didn't know if she was supposed to comment so she remained silent and waited for him to say something.
Angad asked 'So it's the first lesson today…hmm…so what do you think they aren't good at?'
Kripa began slowly while she tried to remember what her classmates needed to improve 'Weelll, some of them have problems with spelling certain words. Some need to…umm, what else…oh yah some of them lack vocabulary; they use very simple, primary standard, English words in their essays, stories and all other writing pieces. And they actually need to get imaginary when writing stories. Their lack of use of vocabulary and use of simple stories doesn't make their stories appealing enough to get good grades….and…umm…I think that's about it, I can't remember more.'
Angad nodded slowly 'I think I get the picture. So do you think it's a good idea to give them a list of words, with the definitions of course, and then every Wednesday we can have dictation?'
Kripa nodded 'Yah, that's great I guess.'
Angad thought for a while before he spoke again 'Okay, I think let me make a timetable for each day as in what we'll do each day of the week.'
Angad got an A4 paper from the stack next to the printer under his desk and a blue ball pen from one of the drawers and began to write as he spoke 'On Mondays, I'll give them…' he stopped and then looked up at Kripa 'Everyday we have double lessons, right? So is it that I'll teach one half of the class in the first period and then the other half in the next period or what?'
Kripa-Mr Shah was discussing about the lessons, he told me that you'll be teaching the first half in the first period and the second half in the second period. They were deciding something else but then at the end they came up with this only.
Angad-I think I'll teach the first half one thing and the other half something else…
Kripa interrupted 'But wouldn't that be like "unfair", sir?'
Angad looked at her 'I hadn't finished. You should listen first and then speak.'
Kripa was a little taken aback when Angad had raised his voice slightly.
Angad continued 'What I was saying was that I'll prepare everything, like a summary of it, during this week about what I'll be teaching them throughout the year. But I won't teach both halves the same thing at one time, what I'll do is that: what I teach the first half now, I'll teach that same thing to the other half at the end and what I'll teach the other half now, I'll teach that same thing to the first half at the end.' He looked at Kripa who had a thinking expression on and added 'For example I teach the first half Topic A as their first topic and teach the second half Topic B as their first topic so I'll teach the first half Topic B as their last topic and teach Topic A to the second half as their last topic.' he paused for a second and saw an expression of understanding took place on her face, he thought to himself first before he asked her with forced calmness 'Thank god she understands now at least!' 'Do you understand?'
Kripa answered 'Yah. But I was thinking why would you do that? What's the problem if you teach both groups the same thing?'
Angad talked to himself in his head thinking he wasted his words on her 'So she wasn't confused! Damn. I wasted my time explaining her for nothing.' Then to comfort himself a little, as he felt weird after sensing that he had been talking like as if he were talking to a kid, he told himself silently 'But still, she's not smart enough to understand the reason behind, at least.'
He explained to her 'If I teach both groups the same thing then, for example: when I give one group a quiz, dictation or a test, students might tell the students from the other group about what was in the test and all before the other group does theirs. So to prevent indirect cheating, that's how I'll teach.'
Kripa hold her laughter back when she heard the words "indirect cheating". She had never heard anything like that from any teacher, or from anyone, in her life before.
Kripa said 'Oh.' to let him know she understood. Then something struck her 'What about homework? Students within each group might copy each other's work?'
As she said it all, she felt guilty talking about her classmates like that. Of course not all students were the same but some cheated, they copied others or hers work at times. And she'd let them only because she didn't want to sound rude when saying "no" when they asked if she could tell them the answers. But she had to say it to the assistant teacher because she wanted to help her classmates get rid of that habit.
Obviously there were cases such as indirect cheating, cheating, copying each other's work and many more but they couldn't discuss how to tackle each problem right then. Angad knew how to handle all that stuff and besides they had other things to discuss before he could start his lessons so he simply told her 'Don't worry about that, I've thought about that already. There are other similar things too and I know what to do about such cases as well.'
Kripa felt kind of challenged inside but she smiled and said 'Oh. Okay then. So now what?'
The bell rang.
Angad looked thoughtful.
Angad spoke gravely 'I think we should meet up during the second recess. Is that fine?'
Kripa smiled and said 'Yah, I'm totally fine with it.' Inside she was frowning, she muttered to herself in her head 'It's not like anything will change if I don't want to come, I'll still have to, no matter what.'
Angad asked 'So where do you want to meet up? Here or your classroom, the library?'
Kripa again politely said 'Up to you, sir.' And again, she told herself in her mind sarcastically 'Why don't we meet up at your place?'
Angad finalized with a small smirk on his lips 'If it's up to me then why don't we meet up at your place. Seven pm. Sharp.'
Kripa's mouth opened slightly in astonishment. She closed her mouth but she still looked completely blank. 'What the hell is he saying?' she screamed to herself in her head furiously. 'What is going on? Did I miss something?' she thought to herself, irritated a little because she couldn't understand why he even said such a thing at all, all of a sudden; out of no where. She also asked herself 'Is he even a proper teacher?' and she added one more thing as well 'Disgusting!'
He started laughing 'Just kidding, girl.'
Kripa didn't want to faade her smile but she mustered up something and gave a smile which looked awkward and unsure but according to Angad it looked very much forced and that caused him to grin inside. 'It's going to be fun here, I guess. The girl's going to be good company if everything else is dull here.' he thought to himself satisfied that he found his source of entertainment on the very first day of work already. At least he had no more hard work to do for that part of the job anymore.
Angad gave a smile which he intended to be a warm and comforting one for her 'So we meet up here next recess as well. Okay?'
Kripa was sure that he was suppressing a grin but she still smiled and said 'Okay sir.'
Kripa stood up right away much to Angad's astonishment, he still had something to say. Angad didn't say anything and let her leave. After the door to his cabin closed, Angad moved his chair backwards, leaned back, crossed his arms behind his head and rested his head on them while looking at his cabin door. Then he looked to the other side of the room at a mirror to find himself grinning. 'I love this job.' he talked to his image in the mirror.
Kripa ran down the stairs to her classroom. Soon her next lesson began.
Recess started and this time Kripa walked up the stairs to the seventh floor. She wasn't looking forward to anything this time unlike the previous few times when she was asked by Mr Shah to come to the staff room to discuss about hiring an English assistant teacher for his students and other class issues. According to her, this new teacher was…'Arg…..what a headache.' she told herself under her breathe while she passed the restrooms.
Preview: Lesson preparations during the second recess.