The Teacher

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Working as a helper in a famous high school, the Head called me in one day and asked if I would like to take over a class teaching astrology and the Greek thinkers. He had heard from the other
teachers that I was very good in those subjects.

Submitted: September 08, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 08, 2017



I first saw the ad in the magazine that they were looking for a helper at the high school. I quickly noted down the address, finished my chocolate, went out the cafe and took a bus to the place.

I got off the bus and saw this great old building standing there. I walked up to it and reported to the receptionist. I got all the information I needed and walked down a long corridor until I came to the canteen on my right.

I reported to the woman in charge and she set me to work straight away. I started making sandwiches of all kinds and filling up the tea and coffee urns. Sometimes I would be busy cleaning the tables and sweeping up.

During morning pauses and lunch breaks, I was busy chatting my head off about astrology and some of the Greek philosophers. I found out that it was something that went down well with my hearers.

Later, I found out that some students were studying the same subjects. Some of them came and talked with me. Even some of the teachers spend some time exchanging views. After some time everyone started saying I should be teaching what I know.

At the beginning of the next school term, I had to report to the headmaster. I waited about half an hour before he would see me. I walked into his office and sat at a great big desk. He said: ''Would you like to have some coffee or tea?''
I answered him, ''Tea, please.''
He got onto the phone and ordered coffee for himself and tea for me. A few minutes later there was a knock on the door and the servant girl pokes her head through and carrying the service tray.

The headmaster said, after we had our drinks before us, ''You're a very likeable fellow. You work hard, and you seem to get on with everyone.''
I said: ''That's the way I am. I don't hold back. I give my all.''

The headmaster settled himself more comfortably in his chair, took a drink of his coffee, and said: ''Many of the teachers think you can be a good teacher. What do you think?''
I told him: ''It would have been great if I had the training as a teacher but sometimes they come automatically.''
'' That's true,'' he said, looking at a folder in front of him. ''You're very learned in astrology and the Greek thinkers. I will give you a class to teach. What do you say?''
I felt glad about his decision and I said, "The students will benefit a lot from my teaching. My thanks goes to you for trusting in me.''
He looked at me and said: '' Could you tell me a bit about the first Greek philosopher?''
''I can do that. Thales of Miletus is known as the first Greek philosopher. He's called the father of Western philosophy. He used natural explanations for natural phenomena. Other Greek philosophers followed him. He was the first to define general principles and develop hypotheses. Thales believed that everything comes out of water, and the earth floats on water. He predicted a solar eclipse, and no one in his time knew how to do that. He was also known as the first mathematician. He brought it over from Egypt ( the circle is bisected by its diameter, and a triangle inscribed in a semi-circle is always a right triangle).''

''That was excellent. You explained it well. What about astrology? Tell me something about it.''

''I told the headmaster: ''It is a very complex subject, and the only way to understand it is to start right at the beginning.''

There was a blackboard on its ease in the room. We both got up and went over to it. I took chalk and drew a great circle on the board. ''This circle,'' I told him, ''represents the Celestial sphere.'' I then drew a line from the top to the bottom. ''This line is what we call the Prime Meridian.'' Then I drew a line from the left right through the midddle and over to the right.. ''This is the horizon.''

The headmaster was pleased with what he heard from me, and was looking forward to see how my students would fair.

When the headmaster had gone away, I said to the students, glad to be here and to be your teacher. I hope that we can get on together and achieve some good results. Make yourselves comfortable. I'm going to call your names out, raise your hand when you hear your name.

After the register I talked with them some more. I told them our class will work together in harmony. That they must expect some sort of bullying and try to get over it. I asked how many of them knew about astrology and the Greek philosophers. More than half the class had heard about them. Finally, I wanted to know why they enrolled for these subjects. Their answers pleased me.

Then I told the class that each one of them would go out to the front and introduce themselves to the class. It all went perfectly well until this young blonde student refused to introduce himself. I took him outside and had a private chat with him for about half an hour. When he came back into the class willingly he went up and introduce himself. He had some slight problems at home. His parents were breaking up. The whole class enjoyed the introduction sessions.

In the afternoon period, I took the class on a bus to the town. When we finished looking around the town, it was time to break up until the next day.

The following day at 09.00 we started.

Just like I drew the celestial sphere for the headmaster when I was with him, I did the same for the class. I explained to them that inside the circle, the center of it, was the earth. The class started taking notes down. Some of them asked questions. At the end of the day, the class could not forget the celestial sphere. They knew how it was drawn and had no problems.

Week following week the class learned about the celestial sphere. They new all about the south pole and the north pole; the horizon with its eastern point and the west as the opposite. The lessons about the equator was clear to them. The ecliptic was a bit hard at first to understand, but they got over that.

Quite a number of names were on the blackboard. We debated over what each one had said. Our class really enjoyed these sessions. Most of the students later, did well with the exams.

After we tackled the celestial sphere and all that's in it, we went on to the Greek philosophers.

Thales, father of ancient Greek philosophy. Discussion on matter.
Parmenides, was a follower of Pythagoras. He  said that everything ''that is''  must have always been. Nothing would have to be form from nothing.

Anaxagoras, he says that in the world everything is a part of everything else. Nothing was pure on its own. Everything was the same in a chaotic state.

Anaximander was a pupil of Thales; one of the greatest minds in ancient Greece. He was the first known writer on philosophy.

Empedocles wrote many poems. He wrote about the development of species.

Zeno of Elea, wrote on motion and plurality. He was the first to show that infinity exists.

Plato, his teachings were about ethics, immortality, man, philosophy and religion.

Socrates, he loved the the truth, he came out with the method of inquiry known as the Socratic method.

Then we had Aristotle who was a student of Plato. Aristoltle was known for logic, mathematics, politics, metaphysics and many more subjects.

One weekend while I was in the town I came up with an idea. Why don't I let every student in the class, take over teaching for a whole day? With twenty students in the class, it would take a whole month to do it. Thinking over it very hard, I decided to do it.

I told the class about what I was going to do and it took some time before they found it okay. It was a great challenge for them, they took it on and it went down well. They were absolutely thrilled that they did it.

Each student had the class for the day. They had to make sure that the timetable was correct and that the students were on time.

I was glad to find the thing turned out well. I asked every one to speak on how they felt being a teacher for the day. Every thing was positive. I took the class again to the town to one of the students cafe to celebrate.

Most of the students after finishing school got a job, while others had to wait a while. It was a very interesting four years with this class. We learned a lot about each other. It didn't matter whether you were rich or poor.


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