Friday, October 30, 2015

A day as a classroom monitor

‘Excuse me; can I go to the toilet?’  A third-grader asked me. I nodded my head and he left the classroom.

I was watching over the boys’ class of 3 C, as to the request of one of my teachers. I had already done this sort of thing few times before, so it was nothing new to me.  

Usually, I’d drag one of my friends along, but this time it was just me. This was fun actually; all I had to do was stand there and watch the kids, interfere if there was any problem, occasionally raise my voice and tell them to sit down and lower the volume, threaten to call the teacher if they still wouldn’t settle down.

Of course, childhood memories never leave us either. When you look around and see small kids crying for the littlest of things, or fighting with someone else because one guy called the other a fool and that was one of the biggest, meanest words that the child has ever heard, you’ll finally understand how annoying you might have been at their age.

I can still remember, when, a few years back, due to my half-yearly exams ending early each day, I had to travel with a bus-load of younger kids back home (kindergartners get to go home early, it’s one of the perks of being young).  All the kids made it a point to sing every known nursery rhyme in the universe, until my ears were giving dangerous signs to almost exploding. Some were jumping up and down on the seats, some were screaming inside my ear, and I was a complete train wreck.

Back to the situation at hand, everything was actually going well. I had gotten the sudden brainwave to make two children the monitors so that I could relax. The reason for this brilliant idea was because all children like being the monitors. What better way to boss people around? When we were young, my friends and I would kill to become monitor for a day. Now, we would die in misery if we were given any such job. It’s a good thing the monitor practice ends at the sixth grade.

Of course, the two boys I made monitors took their jobs very seriously. One guy took his notebook and pen out and jotted down names of whomever he caught opening their mouth, while the other did the yelling. My job was really becoming easier. I was about to relax when someone called out for me. “He called me a bad word!” he said, pointing a finger at the accused, who was glaring back at him. “He said that I am not a human being and that I have no sense!” .Then the accused said “Well, he copied my idea!” and the two of them started bickering. I left it to one of the monitors to straighten it all out, so that I could command some kids to go back to their seats.

I can say for certain that boys are easier to handle than girls (surprisingly, I always thought it was the other way around. Guess not.) Girls make it a point to cause a certain ruckus that would only give the intense desire to strangle someone.

Anyway, I felt I had been here for way too long, and things would start getting out of hand if I stayed longer. A teacher/ monitor/invigilator/random-person-sent-to-look-after-a-class is liked only if they stay the required time and leaves the minute the school bell rings, which, till now, I had not heard.

I poked my head out the door and asked a passing girl if the bell had rung. She said yes, so I left the class. I’d played my part and now it was the teacher’s turn to straighten out whatever problems the children (or possibly I) had created.