“Hello class. I’m your new teacher, Mr. Pavot.”
Lifting my head up from the book in my hands, I see the cover teacher for social studies standing in the front of our class whilst our previous teacher, Mrs Cavell is away on maternity leave.
Dressed in a smart blue suit, he places his shiny briefcase on top of his desk and scans the class with a smile. “To start the semester, I’ll need you to complete these worksheets to see which areas need further attention.”
Everyone grumbles at the sight of the large stack of papers he pulls out from his briefcase. There is roughly sixteen students in total in this class, myself included, and it looks like everyone is getting eight sheet of papers each.
“Take your bags off of the desk while I will pass these around.” He pointedly stares at a few guys on the front row.
Reluctantly I tuck my book back in my bag, and I pull out a pen.
Shouldn’t first days be more laid back? Usually there would be an overview about the course, we’d watch presentations, and listen to the lecturer drone on about their credentials?
Settling back into my seat, I look up to see him standing in front of my desk, papers in hand.
He smiles down at me. “I’ll be here if you want some help. Do you think you will be alright answering these questions, Miss…?”
“Meena, sir.” Falling under his gaze for a moment too long, I smile hesitantly until he places the worksheets on my desk and walks over to another.
I flick through the worksheets, and to my disappointment the papers are double sided.
The rest of the lesson is completed in silence. A few times, I glance up from my desk to check the time on the clock above the whiteboard against the wall to find Mr Pavot looking in my direction. To avoid repetitive eye contact, I turn my head to look outside the window.
The bell rings, signalling that the lesson has ended.
A sigh of relief leaves some people’s mouths. A few gave up mid way through and I noticed some had started doodling on their table or on their hands.
“Leave your work on my desk on your way out.”
I pack away my belongings and I feel a tap on my shoulder. Turning round I see my best friend, Ashley. “Are you joining me and Darius for lunch?”
I nod. “Yeah, I’m starving.”
The room is soon cleared out, leaving us and Mr Pavot alone. He has his back to us as he busily writes something on the big white board for the next class. We walk towards his desk and place our work on top of the others.
“Meena, can I speak to you for a moment?” Mr Pavot voice rings out as we are halfway out the door.
I turn back to see his eyebrows raised expectantly. “Okay.” I answer perplexed.
“What did you do?” Ashley whispers in my ear.
At the corner of my eye, I see her looking at me accusingly. “Don’t know.”
“I’ll be in the canteen,” says Ashley. Her eyes dart towards the teacher behind me one last time before proceeding to walk into the hallway.
Walking towards him, I ask, “Is there something wrong?”
He shakes his head and sits down on the chair behind his desk, “I noticed that you finished before everyone else.”
I keep my mouth shut because I do not know how to reply to his observation.
“How you feel about the unit?” He continues.
I look into his grey eyes and clear my throat uncomfortably, “The unit’s reasonable.” I pause. “Nothing too difficult, the worksheet was pretty straight forward.”
“What topic did you find straight forward?”
I think for a moment. “Greek and Roman History probably.”
He hums in understanding. “Alright then, I suppose you better join your friend for lunch.”
I start inching my way back to the door, eager to finally get some food in my belly. “Goodbye, Mr Pavot.”
“See you tomorrow, Meena,” he smiles once more.