The students often misbehaved whenever the teacher was absent. Whenever she had to step out to fetch notes, or writing material from the office, the children would run about, making noise and sometimes even getting into fights. As soon as they saw the teacher returning, they would hurry back to their desks and pretend as if they were good, but she always knew they were getting on badly.
The other teachers would tell Miss Robinson that she was too kind, and the children knew she would not punish them, so that is why they often carried on as they did. Miss Robinson knew that this may be true, because she always hated punishing the students; she did not like to see them cry, but she was also frustrated at how undisciplined they were. She realised that the only way to get them to behave better would be to punish them whenever they did any wrong. She just could not get the nerve to do it and so the children kept on misbehaving.
One week Miss Robinson was ill, and the Principal had to assign another teacher to her class until she returned. When Miss James came into the class the students all greeted her politely, and she smiled, thinking that she had gotten herself a bunch of well behaved students. As soon as she turned her back, the ruckus would start. She came back before they could organise themselves, and decided to punish them. That day, they all had to eat lunch in the class room, and they had to stay behind after school to help clean the grounds. They sulked the entire time, and for the entire week, for if they misbehaved, they would get the harshest of punishments from Miss James.
Now the students missed Miss Robinson. Before she came back, the principal told them that Miss James had been doing a good job keeping them under control, so he had decided that Miss James would remain as their class teacher. They were all sad to hear this, but they knew that if they had treated Miss Robinson better, and had shown more respect, then she would still be their class teacher.
Always acknowledge and appreciate the good that you have, or you might lose it to something worse.
By Kerry Ann Stewart
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