Teacher Moment #4: Late with Only 2 Whiteboard Markers in Hand

The fact that this is only number 4 on my teacher moment series doesn’t really paint the full picture of how many of these moments I have had as of late. For example(s)… I’ve started to realize that I think I’m funnier than I actually am in front of the class (classic teacher trait), I’ve started to dress more like a teacher (corduroy, weird blazers, bowties and sweaters which are all worn in an attempt to not look like a student in my classic Navy Blue blazer), and I now have this teacher death glare down so well (and I’m never short of situations in which to use it).

But a good teacher moment the other day… I needed to get a second passport to help facilitate travel around the region (story for another day), but the embassy in Amman has ridiculous hours like 11:15 am until 11:21 am on Weekdays or something, so you have to find ways to get there during the school day. On Wednesdays, I have a nice little 3 hour break, so I decided to risk it and try to make it to the embassy and back before my afternoon class. I went in (about a 30 minute drive) with the school driver, got dropped off at the embassy and did my business. Surprisingly, it only took about 45 minutes after the ridiculous security checkpoints, so I left very pleased.

I called the driver to see when we were going back, and he said Give me 3 minutes and I will come get you.” Immediately after hanging up, he called back and said “did I say 3? I meant 30, give me a half hour.” Okay, fine, that will still be plenty of time. I walked around the area for a while trying to kill time – an hour passed. I gave him a call again to ask when we were going back and he said I’ll be there in a half hour.” Uh-oh. I now had class in 45 minutes, so a 30 minute wait plus a 30 minute drive equals an unattended classroom. I freaked out, hopped in a cab, and used all of my Jordan skills to make it back to school in 3 different cabs for a total of 6 JD (which is pretty good).

I ended up being only 5 minutes late for class, but the other snag was that I had left my bag in the driver’s car because I didn’t want to take it into the embassy… my bag with my lesson plan and all of my teaching materials. I grabbed 2 whiteboard markers from the supply room, went to the class anyway, and taught like I’d never taught before (unprepared that is). It actually ended up being an okay lesson… but that’s when I knew I’d hit the big time. If you had asked me to do that in September, I would have been tense and nervous, and probably would have just let my class go, but I managed to go with the flow and deal with it. Oh, the little victories.

I have to go back to the embassy to pick up the passport now that it’s ready. Maybe I’ll wait until we have a school holiday this time…

Posted on January 20, 2010, in Teacher Moments, Teaching. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. hi bowman. you popped up on my facebook page and fbook led me here. first, a belated congrats on your graduation! 🙂

    second, i really enjoyed catching up on your blog. your awesome pictures and stories make me want to visit jordan. and i can definitely relate to your stories of language acquisition and teaching (although maybe because my kids are in 4th and 5th grade i am having a harder time recalling what it’s like to their age!) anyway, sounds like you’re doing well. i’ll be sure to keep up with your blog. take care!

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