• The Write Connection

A Substitute Teacher



“Everyone! Return to your seats now and read your books quietly!” I ordered the class fiercely, furrowing my eyebrows disapprovingly. The class immediately quietened down so much that I could hear a pin drop. Grumbling to myself, I resumed marking the huge mountain of worksheets piled at the side of the teacher’s table. Suddenly, I heard the squeaking of a chair. Glancing up, I caught sight of a student sneaking away from his seat.


Suspicious, I called out sternly, “Where do you think you are heading to, little boy?” The student, that went by the name of Gavyn, stuttered as he tried to find an excuse, “I… I need to …. to tell my classmate that a teacher needs… needs to see him.” Eyeing him with a doubtful look on my face, I continued to slog through the pile of worksheets that were patiently waiting to be marked. Little did I know what Gavyn had in store for me…


“I have a surprise for you, hope you like it, Mdm Sam!” Gavyn’s familiar voice rang in my ears. I wished that I had never given him my attention. Upon looking up from my marking, Gavyn released an enormous grasshopper from his cupped hands. As if right on cue, the giant green thing hopped onto the desk and landed squarely on my face, making itself comfortable as it sat there proudly. Refusing to budge, that irritating insect looked as if it was mocking me.


With my eyes as wide as plates, I panicked and flailed my arms wildly, trying to smack the disgusting creature away from my face. Upon seeing this, the entire class erupted into peals of laughter as students wiped their tear-streaked face from howling with laughter. Fear was written all over my face as I felt the floodgates in my eyes threatening to open. At last, the icky grasshopper hopped back into Gavyn’s cupped hands, snuggling itself with ease.


Staring at Gavyn with a bug-eyed gaze, the veins in my forehead started throbbing. I instructed him sternly, “Gavyn, let the grasshopper out of the window and come with me to the principal’s office this instant!” As he followed me out of the door, a look of contrite filled his face as he gazed down at the floor decidedly. Tapping my shoulder, Gavyn apologised to me, “Mdm Sam, I am very sorry. I vow never to play such a nasty prank on you again.” My face softened as I relented, explaining to him gently why he was in the wrong. From that day onwards, I vowed not to be so harsh towards the students.