My French Teacher “Alorrrs”

I sometimes miss my high school French teacher. I miss how she used to say “Alorrrrrrs” rolling her eyes, as though she was having a seizure.

Most of the times, the French lessons were boring. Sometimes, she would spend the entire 3-hour period giving us a harangue…like when she tried to review the homework she had left us with the previous day and found that only one or two did their homework. She would become frustrated.

”Montrez-moi vos cahiers” she would say and move around the class checking everyone’s book, saying ”Dehors” if you didn’t have your homework done. That would leave the classroom almost empty and she’d go off on a rant that would continue until the bell rang for break or for the next lesson.

Or when someone passed a note to someone else and she saw them. It always broke her to pieces because the notes were always about her.

I remember one day when she came to class, dropped her books, moved to the back of the classroom and said ”Effacer le tableau” And no one moved.

”Effacer le tableau” she said again. We remained sitted pretending to read…

”eeehh, ntimushaka gusiba ikibaho?” ”Okay”

She then grabbed her books and stormed out of the room. Then our class teacher came in asking ”Senior Three Red, mumugize gute?” We kept quiet…We spent that day outside, standing in the sun. And that was very fun!

She was one crazy woman!

There is one particular day I can never forget…We were about to sit for the O level National exams. She came to class, dropped her books on the first desk…

”Ni ba nde batazi kwaccorda?” Everyone raised up their hands.

”Bon, ngiye kubisubiramo ku buryo buri wese abyumva akabifata” and she started teaching (n’ibicourage byinshi)…

Mid-way, she asked again ”ni ba nde batarabyumva neza” and half of the classed raised up their hands. She went on…explaining even in Kinyarwanda. The number of those who raised their hands was gradually decreasing…Then at last she asked ”ni nde hano utarumva uko baccorda?”

One hand was up. Eheeee…and she hit the roof! She screamed at her ”J’ai frappé Jacqueline, icyo utumva ni iki??”

Up to this day, I still laugh at this, till my tummy hurts! I can’t breathe!

Anyways, I think people really underestimate the job of a teacher.

Some students seem to have made it their goal to frustrate the teachers as much as possible. The incessant talking, the attitude, the disrespect…some students are not taught moral values at home, and children are often in situations where they raise themselves (the generation today is the most fatherless, divorced, and neglected generation) In this case, it becomes difficult to expect a teenager to follow your rules and turn in homework when the student has never had to follow rules or have responsibility at home. It is often difficult to balance teaching with discipline when respect and honor for teachers has not been instilled in students.

Then there’s the issue of parents – the dad who thinks the teacher has all the time in the world to give his son/daughter special treatment, the mom who can’t believe that her little darling could curse at you and throw a desk across the room, or the parent who just don’t seem to understand what the teacher is trying to do – who often see their child through rose colored glasses. And somehow will find a way to blame the teacher. And it is very difficult for teachers to help parents understand that their child must take responsibility for their actions.

Teaching ain’t easy!

Anyways, she was pretty a good teacher. And I’m thankful to her for the French lessons (they are helping now).

À la prochaine…


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