I have many awkward teaching experiences in my life, but nothing pales in comparison to the day when I received a phone call from my wife. See, my wife and I were on a temporary assignment in a new school, we were only supposed to be there for a few months before moving to a different location.
So as we entered the office a teacher came and greeted me and my team (which included my wife), a familiar face and someone who has been teaching there for some time. That familiar face happened to be my ex-girlfriend. So for a few awkward moments, a change of atmosphere came over the room. I think it was just me, but I could swear there was a chill that came over the scorching tropical weather of my country. My fight or flight response went into overdrive, I tried to gauge the situation, maybe they had no idea who each other are.
Nope, no chance, my wife had seen photos, so she had an idea who this person is and I reckon that my ex knew who my wife was (thank you, Facebook). So we exchanged those awkward glances and moved on to conduct our assignments professionally. At least, that was what I hoped would happen and things only escalated from there.
Over the course of the next few months, things got rather interesting. It can be rather difficult to narrate this, so let us break them down into different situations that occurred.
The first class
As I entered into my first class and introduced myself, I thought I did a very good job. I started with a joke and I flaunted my credentials, telling them of the awesome things I have done in my life, playing the cool teacher card. I was confident, I felt that I had won them over and I knew for sure that I had their attention.
Little did I know that it is almost impossible to gauge what teenagers are thinking. At the end of my presentation, I asked if anyone had any questions for me. All the hands in the classroom shot up. I thought, wow, I must have made a great first impression. That was until I found out that everyone was wondering if I had dated one of the teachers in the school.
Well, at least they wanted to know about me. I told them if they wanted to know, they had to behave and I would tell them at the end of my assignment. Unfortunately, that did not worked and they continued asking until the end of my assignment.
Everyone else found out
It was during a faculty meeting when one of the senior members asked about my past. It did not help that every teacher I worked with wanted to know what happened. So instead of helping the teachers professionally, most of my time was spent explaining that I am married, no, nothing happened and we are just friends.
While that was fine, it did not help when my boss found out and called me to ask if I was having "an affair" at school. He tactfully asked if I wanted a change of assignment. As such, there was a half an hour long explanation of what happened and that it was not an issue.
My team member came up to me and said that perhaps I was cursed and suggested that I visit a "spiritual professional" to cleanse myself. I for one do not think that that was the case but based on his tone, I would say that was just plain schadenfreude.
3 months later...
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed my assignment in the school, it was not about the attention, but it was a very good school and we made some really great improvements there. At the end of my assignment, I did come clean to my students and they appreciated the honesty, no one made fun of me... Thank God... I think as long as we treat the students like adults, they reciprocate.
I think at the end of the three months, the teachers did not exactly remember the different innovative methods of teaching, but their colleague's past relationship with me. As for my wife, well, she still likes to make fun of this incident after seven years. Yes, it has been that long and as much as it was awkward, it made one awesome story. I hope you found this entertaining, do let me know of your thoughts in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!