A Great Practice Teaching Memory!
The word "eye" must be in here for Mona's word for the day!
All the way to the high school, on my first day of student practice teaching, I tried to envision my associate teacher and the inevitable meeting that would soon follow. I only knew from his phone call on Friday that he was Mr. James Craig, who spoke quickly, precisely and with a faint trace of an English accent. He was also the Head of the English Department. I would most certainly have to be on my toes throughout this two-week assignment!
Upon my arrival at the school office, naturally, no one knew of Mr. Craig’s whereabouts. I was then directed to the staff room where I could settle my edgy nerves with a strong cup of coffee, after I had donated my fifty cents to the beloved coffee club, of course! They sent all of us there when they really didn’t want us hanging around, biting our nails.
So I shakily grabbed a cup of java and set out to roam the halls in search of the one that was to be my inspiration to teach high school English.
Every male staff member I passed in the hall looked like a possible candidate for my Mr. Craig.
A tall, lean, handsome man strode out of a doorway and down the hall in front of me. My eyes were fixed on his broad shoulders and my heart leaped. How could I concentrate on Grade Eleven lessons on Wordsworth with such an attractive man watching my every move?
I relaxed as he turned in a door marked, "Mr. Martin: Geography".
Then, I noticed a big, burly, bearded man walking towards me and I imagined him reading volumes of Shakespeare while smoking a pipe. In a gruff voice he grunted some form of greeting and I felt sure that this was my destined mentor. I stammered an awkward, "Good Morning" and was relieved to see him enter the Science Lab.
Around the corner, I encountered a man of medium stature, shining eyes, and a very warm empathetic smile. His greeting was so friendly; I was happily convinced that this Mr. Craig indeed knew I was his charge for the next two weeks. But I was disappointed to see him headed towards the History and Politics wing.
Finally, I ended up back at the staff room and reluctantly went inside. My eyes swept the room, taking in the entire scene at once. People were chatting and laughing. Some were teasing others about sipping coffee without having paid into the fund jar. Someone commented offhandedly, that this was the cursed week those student teachers came. Another groaned in reply that she would likely have to re-teach all her lessons. No one acknowledged my presence whatsoever.
By this point, I was feeling so uncomfortable I gladly paid my money for another refill in my cup. With trembling hands, I fixed my coffee and pushed my way through the saloon-type doors of the kitchenette. Strangely, I felt some resistance from the other side. I immediately came face to face with an impeccably well-dressed man with short, dark hair and coffee all over his immaculate pinstriped suit. I gaped at him in horror!
Good morning, Mr. Craig!
Mother of Invention, glad that stage of my life is over!