The First Day
| Miss Moore climbed into her car. Today was her first day at a new school with a new class. She was very nervous as St. Teresa's was supposed to be a very strict school. 4C, her new class, were an unknown entity to her. Miss Paxe, the old teacher, had left because of other commitments. When she got to the school 4C were already waiting quietly in a 3-by-3 formation outside the classroom door.
"Good morning class. I'm Miss Moore. Please give me your names one at a time."
"Peter Jones." Miss Moore looked around in surprise.
"Do you mean I only teach six?" She asked.
"Yes Miss, that's right."
"Oh, good. Come in then, and sit down." She opened the door and lead the way into the classroom. The desks were arrange in two rows of three in front of a central teachers desk.
the first lesson
| " so, now we're all sitting down," said miss more, " i think it's time i learnt a little about you. hmm... an ice breaker". she thought for a moment.. " what about telling me what you all did over the summer holidays?"
" studdied!" all the kids shouted in unison.
miss more looked up in shock.
" you mean to tell me that none of you did anything for the summer?. you studdied all the time?. "
" oh, we did!" explained peter. " we've been learning about the first world war, and it's facinating. our old teacher was brilliant at her job. "
" i hope i can continue the good teaching method. now, who can tell me what year world war 1 started?. hands up, please?. "
the teacher scanned the class, and eventually picked jake.
" 1914,. " he said proudly.
" that's right!. now, when did it end?".
" that would be 1918," said angela.
" good!. " said the teacher.. " today, " she continued, " we are going to watch a video about the first world war, and afterwards, you're going to have a quiz on it. "
" a video?. " enquired ron. " our old teacher never showed us any videos. "
" think of this as a treat,. " said miss more. " i'm in charge now, and i'll be showing you a lot of informative videos. now, let's gather round the central video screen, class!. "
they all took a chair and gathered round the screen.
miss more put the video on, and for the next hour or so, no one spoke. they were intently watching the screen.
just as the video was coming to an end, the bell rang.
" that's the end of our history class for today, " said miss more. " our quiz on world war 1 will be tomorrow. after break, i think we'll do something else. "
all the kids filed out of the class, all accept for nadia thompson who waited patiently by miss more's desk.
" what is it, nadia?." asked miss more.
nadia frowned. " i'm just not getting anywhere with this class, i can't understand anything that's being said... it just goes straight through me. didn't you notice how i remained silent all morning?. "
the teacher nodded. " well," she said. " what would you like to do after break?. why don't you decide what the class should do. "
nadia thought for a moment, and then frowned. " i'm not built for school, i'm just not good at learning. what about we do art?".
miss more smiled. " well, nadia, art's very creative, and you can express a lot of emotions with art. okay, i'll get us some supplies from the art cupboard, and we can paint some pretty pictures. now off you go, play with the other children".
" thank you, miss more". nadia whispered as she opened the classroom door to leave.
| miss more called the class back in at 11 a.m. they all came in, cheering and full of smiles.
" did you have a good playtime?. " she asked.
" we went to play on the swings, " angela said.
miss more smiled. " well, it's about time those swings were made use of. they arn't as popular as they used to be, what with sports and other activities taking over. anyway, enough about that. so for our second lesson..." she stopped as she met nadia's gaze. " our second activity," she started, " is art. i want each of you to do me a picture of something that means something to you, or something that tells me something about you. just be creative. the art stuff is all on the table nearest the door. i'll come round in a minit to look at your pictures. "
everyone seemed excited, though peter was skeptical.
" art?." he asked miss more. " creative art?. we're not 2 years old!"
miss more smiled and went back to her writing.
soon, all the kids had made nice pictures and miss more was going around seeing what was made.
she took in a nice winter sceen that mary had created, angela's dog, ron and peter's joint effert at creating a birthday party sceen, and jake's picture of a rainforest.
when she got round to nadia, the child just sat their, head in her hands.
" are you going to show me your picture, sweetie?"
nadia shook her head. she folded her hands on the table and looked away from the teacher.
miss more walked back to her desk, thinking that perhaps nadia would show her picture after class, when the 2 were alone.
" you all did great. really. you all have such skill. and ron, peter, you 2 make a great team- that birthday party sceen you created looks so realistic!. "
" what about nadia?. " asked ron, " what sort of picture did nadia make?. you never congratulated her. "
" well, ur,." began miss more.
"she didn't make any picture did she!. lazy nadia didn't even pick up the paintbrush. "
" now ron, their's no need for that. nadia's just shy, is all. i'm sure her picture is great. "
" you never saw it yourself?" spat ron, " don't make excuses for her. nadia's just lazy. "
the teacher sighed. " well, i was going to ask the reason behind all your pictures, but i'll think we'll skip that. why don't you all come up and hang your pictures on the wall?".
soon, the room was decorated nicely with winter sceens, and rainforests, and dogs, and birthday parties.
ron laughed when nadia didn't have a picture to put on the wall.
after the art class, miss more took nadia aside.
" nadia, sweetie, are you going to show me your picture?"
nadia shook her head, neggative.
" why won't you show me your picture, nadia?. "
nadia looked away from the kindly eyes of the teacher.
persisting, miss more continued, " you know, sweetie, what about just me and you, we have lunch in the classroom?. just us. i'm curious about you, i'm curious about you, your picture, your silence..."
" i'd like that, " she said softly.
miss more smiled and had 2 school lunches baught to the classroom.
over lunch, miss more tried to make small talk with the child. what subjects did she like, what she liked to do in her spare time, even what she wanted to be when she grew up. but the child just ate. she ate, and ate, and ate- until her plate was empty. completely empty.
" you must have been hungry," said miss more. " are you full up now?"
the child nodded.
" i'm thirsty though, " she whispered
they both had a glass of apple juice, and it was very refreshing.
" you know, sweetie, you don't have to whisper. it's only us here. everyone else is in the lunch hall. "
nadia said nothing.
" would you like to go and play with the children?" miss more asked, not wanting her to be diffrent from her other classmates
nadia reached over to the table, and grabbed her picture tight.
" as long as this comes with me," she said.
| nadia had become miss more's new curiosity. what was she hiding. why did she wisper all the time, and why did she not seem to learn as fast as the other kids?.
she didn't have long to wonder.
at 1pm the class came back inside. all accept, all accept for nadia. she wasn't with the others.
" where's nadia?. " asked miss more as she sat at her desk.
" she's gone, " ron said.
mary decided to explain.
" miss more, " she began. " nadia went in to the woods. behind the swings. she said she wasn't coming back. she said she'd rather sit outside, she'd rather sit alone. "
" right, " said miss more. " um could you all talk amongst yourselves?. i need to see where nadia is. she's 1 of my students, and she needs to be with me. "
outside, it didn't take miss more long to find nadia, sitting on the bench, shivering. she was clutching her picture, and she had a look of terror on her tiny face.
miss more aproached her, and began to speak:
" nadia, you need to come in, sweetie. it's lesson time. "
in sted of being met with a whisper, nadia screamed.
" ron!. ron hates me!. like everyone else!. everyone hates me!. and don't pretend you don't, miss more!. you don't want to help me at all. all you care about are the others. isn't that right miss more?. isn't that right?. "
" no, sweetie.... i care about all my students. you're all equal. and, i especially want to help you. you know, you're a very special girl. "
" special?. " nadia smiled. " i'm special?. "
" yes, you are. and do you know what i'd really like to do?. i'd like to look at your picture that you made in the classroomn today. "
nadia silently handed it over, and miss more smiled.
but when she looked at what she'd made, her face went from a smile, to a very concerned look.
the picture that nadia had made in class, clearly wasn't something that miss more had expected, from any of her 4th grade class.
" don't you like it?. " tears were starting to form in nadia's eyes.
" i don't really know what it is, sweetie. why don't you tell me?"
" it's a picture of my mommy. my mommy hits me, miss more. and when she does, i get very angry and i hide. then, when it gets to much, miss more i....."
" you what, nadia?. it's okay. you can tell me. "
" i don't want to live anymore, i just want to escape. i want it all gone. "
misss more nodde.
" well, nadia. thanks for telling me. you know, i think i'd like to speak to your mommy. "
at that, nadia shiverdd and began to leave.
" it's okay, it's okay. not now.... later okay?. now, come back to class, and let's do something nice. "
" okay, miss more. "
they headed back to the classroom, hand in hand. miss more thinking about how nadia must feel, and how brave she was to tell her all this.
| miss more returned, nadia in toe
" she's fine," said the teacher, sensing 5 pairs of eyes looking at her. " this afternoon," she continued, taking her seat at the desk " we're going to have a spelling test".
"Oh I can spell just fine," snorted ron. " C, A, T- that spells cat. D, O, G- that spells dog. C, L, A, S, S, that spells class".
"very good ron" said miss more. " but the words in this test are going to be a lot harder. for example, who can spell utopia?"
"EE, W, U" started ron.
" no ron, that's not how you spell it. see?. you can't spell everything!"
"E, U, T," began mary
" no" said the teacher. " that's not right either."
"U, T, O, P, I, A" said peter proudly
" that's right" said miss more. " well done peter".
she then proceeded to write 10 words on the blackboard.
" this is your test," she said. " you have exactly 15 minits to complete it."
15 minits later, miss more went around the class checking the children's work.
she stopped at ron, and after looking at his finished test said "you didn't get any right. I thought you could spell?"
"I can" said ron, folding his arms. " these words are too dificult!"
she continued going around the class
both jake and angela had managed to get 5 right
nadia even managed to get 7, and miss more congratulated her
when she got round to peter, her mouth dropped open.
" you got 10!" she said. " some of those words were really hard, but you got them all!"
peter smiled. "well, I do a lot of reading, you know"
when the teacher announced to the class that peter had got them all right, they all chanted "he's perfect peter!. perfect peter with a perfect score!"
for the rest of the afternoon, when ever peter's name got mentioned by the teacher, the class would correct her " you mean perfect peter with the perfect score".
at the end of the day, nadia aproached the teacher and smiled.
" yes, you did good too nadia. 7 is a lot of right answers!"
"I'm just glad i'm not being bullied about my art by ron" she said. " now peter's getting all the attention, and I want him to know how it feels to be bullied".
" that's not nice, nadia" miss more scolded. but she could see why the child had said that
miss more imagined that nadia didn't have a very nice upbringing, not a nice upbringing at all