Short Stories (Fiction)

Dear Diary, My English Teacher

This is a work of fiction.

Dear Diary,

My English Teacher

As I told you yesterday, our old English teacher resigned from school yesterday, and a new English teacher has joined today. Our old English teacher had given us a homework assignment yesterday and asked us to write about our favorite personality. She told us that the new teacher would check our assignments.

But I was feeling so lazy yesterday, after coming back from school. I slept for sometime, watched a movie on TV, played some computer games, ate dinner and slept off. When I went to the school today morning, I was shocked to find that most students had done their assignments. Since a new teacher was coming, they were afraid that the punishment for not doing the assignment might be harsh.

I too didn’t want to take a chance. I skipped the morning assembly, got a notebook from my friend who had completed the assignment, and I copied the whole assignment from him.

Today, the first period was English and as expected, our new English teacher came. She came to each desk, read whom each student had written about and made some comments. My desk was right at the front and hence she read my (copied) work first.

My friend, from whom I copied had written about John Locke. In my hurry, I didn’t even notice the name of the person. She told me that writing about a long-forgotten 17th century thinker and philosopher was an excellent idea, and asked me from where I got the inspiration to write about him.

I had no clue. I was staring blankly. I guess she thought I was a bit shy and hence she went to the next person. Before I could recover from my shock, I found that the teacher had come close to the bench where my friend (whose work I copied) was sitting. I looked at him and he was trying to communicate something to me.

Oh, no!! I forgot to return his notebook! I immediately passed the notebook to others who were in between us. By this time, the teacher reached his desk and saw the notebook being passed to him.

As if all these blunders weren’t enough, I found to my horror that I accidentally passed my own notebook to him, instead of his! He had no time to notice all that and gave the teacher the same notebook for verification.

Once she got the notebook, she read about the same John Locke and looked at me. I guessed she recognized my handwriting too. I hung my head in shame. Immediately she came in front of the whole class and showed the notebook to everyone.

I was visibly shocked. I knew I had messed up things really bad. After looking at me once she told everyone, “Children, please give a round of applause for this handwriting”.

Everyone clapped.

I was frozen in my place. She then went on to check what others had written.

As usual a few students had not completed their homework and they gave some petty excuses on why they forgot to complete their assignments. The teacher listened patiently to everyone and then turned to the black board.

She started writing something in Tamil, on the top of the board. An English teacher writing in Tamil!! We were all stunned. She wrote the following verse from ‘Tirukkural’.

“Irandha veguliyin theethe siranda

Uvagai maghilchiyin sorvu”

She even told us what the Tirukkural verse meant. It means, “More evil than inordinate anger is forgetfulness resulting from the intoxication of great joy”. And then she started with her lessons, mindfully aware that the most important lesson was already taught.

All of us were shaken. Me, even more. From now on, I am definitely going to do all my English assignments on time. How can one develop a rough-skin towards so much kindness?

Destination InfinityΒ 

This is my entry to the ISB iDiya for Indichange contest.

The social cause I have written about is the verbal and physical assault against students in our schools, in the name of punishments. I am sure all of us have experienced some form of corporal punishment in our schools.


    • Rajesh K

      I feel that participating in a contest like this will give more exposure to a social cause like this, which is otherwise not even considered for change!!

      Destination Infinity

    • Rajesh K

      Yes, we might have come across some teachers who command respect from the students due to their kindness, but mostly teachers believe in sticks and verbal abuses.

      Destination Infinity

  • sm

    well written, excellent story and end
    good luck for contest
    Just thinking what New English teacher told you after the class hours or before the class

    • Rajesh K

      This is an imaginary story. If I had to include that part, I would have rather preferred silence after this particular class hour. Silence is a very powerful communicator.

      Destination Infinity

  • Sia

    DI- My first time and hopped here from Toffee’s blog! Very nice write up! And I totally agree that teachers have a very instrumental role in shaping up a person’s future..

    • Rajesh K

      Welcome. Teachers don’t fully understand what power they have in their hands. I feel that the foundation to making up a good society can be effectively laid by teachers. But, many teachers consider their job to be of some authority and vent out their frustrations on the kids. I don’t blame them, our society is based on such high values, but the change could effectively start from them.

      Destination Infinity

    • Rajesh K

      Ha ha. Teachers are basically kind, but sometimes students make them strict!! Welcome to my blog BTW πŸ™‚

      Destination Infinity

  • rahul aggarwal

    teachers are the torch bearers, the guide to show the right path and not to put a fullstop .. the teacher who scolds or punish is not for to teach others .. education done in hard way is never fruitful .. instead it leaves a bad patch in one’s life someway or the other….

    • Rajesh K

      That’s true – Education done in a hard way is never fruitful. But we keep trying it again and again!!

      Destination Infinity

  • PK Hrezo

    Hello Infinity! Thanks for stopping by my blog ! Interesting topic. I’ve mostly found teachers to be kind and eager to teach. πŸ™‚

    • Rajesh K

      Thanks for your comment. This story is particular to the educational system in India. But I do agree that teachers are kind and things have improved very much these days…

      Destination Infinity

  • Kirtivasan

    It would be quite unlike English, to expect an English teacher to teach thirukkural. If you want to do charity, you need to contact missionary. The missionary is not expected to contact you. Right !!

    • Rajesh K

      True, but in certain situations the message which is conveyed is more important than in which language it is conveyed. Since usage of Tamil by an English teacher is quite unexpected, it might create a bigger impact on the students.

      Destination Infinity

  • SG

    Very well written. You had a nice English teacher.

    I was going to my 7th grade. The day before the first day of school, I asked my cousin (his dad was the headmaster) in whose section I was going to be placed. He said we both will be in Mullangi (radish) sir’s class. The next day, I was strolling along the hallway looking for my classroom. One teacher came out of the class and asked me which grade I am. I told him 7th grade. He asked my teacher’s name. I said his name is Mullangi sir. He said: I am that Mullangi. Come inside.

  • Ashwini C N

    I should say I was lucky enough to have such wonderful teachers who knew for what a punishment is required and for what it is not. Good luck with your initiative πŸ™‚

    • Rajesh K

      Generally, teachers are not too strict. But there are always some teachers who are different… Thanks for your wishes πŸ™‚

      Destination Infinity

  • Amruta

    Very interesting post, indeed! I hope a day comes when many teachers will behave similarly…
    I liked the style of writing, too. At first, I thought the last paragraph (the one in bold font) was not required; but then I realized, no harm in helping readers to connect the dots! πŸ™‚

    • Rajesh K

      Since it was written for a contest that specifically asked us to address social issues in a creative way, I had to include the last para πŸ™‚

      Destination Infinity

    • Rajesh K

      Yes, English teachers were my favorite teachers too… In my case, I had a very good Tamil teacher who encouraged me to write creatively and think out of the box.

      Destination Infinity

  • Sharafudheen

    It is very helpful thanks a lot a lot I am sincerely and truthfully saying thank a lot again