As a child I used to visit the Circus and always loved the attractions there. I adored the people on the trapeze and wished I had that kind of courage. They made flying through the air seem so easy, as if they had almost no training at all. But there was another guy that fascinated me. It was the guy with the lion show. They would pause the activities to erect the cage and then the lion tamer would come in first and one by one he would let the lions in and place them on some kind of stools. From there he would ask them to do some tricks. Now, lions are not at all common in Europe and so they seemed rather dangerous to me. It was quite clear, even to me as a child, that the lion tamer (or “Dompteur” as we called it in French) spent most of his time controlling the lions and making sure that they would stay on their assigned stools. Every so often he would ask one lion to jump through a hoop or do some other kind of trick. But his eyes were always everywhere and if another lion got out of line he would swing his whip and send him back onto his chair. This was essential, you know, if you didn’t want to get eaten up by a lion. One couldn’t help to have a little bit of morbid curiosity and wonder what would happen if they all jumped off at once. But, luckily, it never came to that and everybody, including me, was hugely impressed with the calm and fearless manner in which he handled the scary animals.
Now, what’s this got to do with teachers?? Last week, just for a day, I had the wonderful opportunity to fill in for a missing teacher at my daughter’s Primary School. My task was to supervise the class and to try and complete certain tasks with them. Their regular teacher had laid out the routine and all I had to do was follow the program. While I am proud to say that it went well and we accomplished all the given tasks, I must say, I have since gained a new understanding for teachers.
Teaching, so it seems to me, has much in common with lion taming. My daughter (or your son) might be an angel at home, but put them into a room with 24 others and you have a dangerous scenario. One by one they come in after break and just to get them onto their chairs is a challenge! When we tried to finish a math worksheet together, it seemed very much like making them jump through a hoop. Some kids just won’t keep on working without constant encouragement and coaching. Others are rather overly eager and need to be slowed down a bit. All in all, it seems to take an enormous amount of time to explain a task in a classroom full of children and get them all started at the same time.
Modern society might frown upon the use of discipline and they are beautiful children, each one of them, but they certainly act like a bunch of little lions and a young student teacher might even consider them a little dangerous. So, like the lion tamer, a teacher has to be brave and vigilant, as they tend to be unruly at a moments notice. As a matter of fact, I must have spent the majority of my time, keeping them quiet and on their stools. I know this is the nature of things; after all, I am a seasoned mom. Take one of these children and he or she might be an angel. Take a group or 25 of them in one room, well, then you better have some training in lion taming!
So moms, if you didn’t appreciate your child’s teacher so far, take my word for it – he or she is probably doing a marvelous job! Just for controlling a room full of kids in such a calm and fearless manner, you ought to be impressed with them!
|(Images courtesy of: www.morguefile.com)|