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The horse, the battle and the victory

During my quiet time this past Tuesday, I felt to fast. It didn’t feel like it was to be the typical 6 to 6 fast. As in I felt I could break the fast after my teaching time. I checked my heart to make sure I wasn’t just reacting to any wrong feelings. I was smiling in fact.

As an aside, the advantage of fasting on a work day is that you can leave home earlier as you don’t need to prepare a breakfast and/or lunch bag for the day. Also, there’s no need to make any trips to the staff room or canteen or kitchen to warm up or get your food. You get straight to your desk and face your task for the day. You can’t distract yourself with food or junk like sweet biscuits and co. Also, I find I’m more focused for the day.

Anyway, fast I did as the preparation. Only for an incident (the battle) to happen with one of my classes. One of the school rules is that phones are not to be out and seen in use except during break and lunch times. And if that rule was followed to the strictest letter of its law, almost all students’ phones will be confiscated!!

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Well, since my students don’t know I grew up in Nigeria and have seen all the tricks of the trade of breaking the laws in class without being caught, they get surprised when I catch them out. Two of these students were obviously sharing messages on their phone and using their folders to cover it so I don’t notice. Well, I did, clocked it, made eye contact with them, looked at the folder and looked back at them to let them know I’d seen what they were doing and then gave them time to put it away. All this while I was still talking Maths at the front of the classroom.

They were obviously not African as they’d have decoded my stares, mouthed an apology and refocused and all will be forgiven. Since they didn’t, I proceeded to confiscate the phone.

Now typically, I’d give it back at the end of the lesson if it’s a first time offender, which was the case here. End of lesson comes, I proceeded to give my well-rehearsed speech of being gracious and kind like my Father in heaven. Well, said student refused to listen and said she didn’t care, that I should just return her phone. Her friend who must have known I was full of grace tried to convince her to just say she’s heard and won’t do it again. She was having none of it.

I had a class to teach next and I wasn’t going to cave in to her disrespect. So I compromised to give it to the head of her year group in their office. She followed me barking to give her back her phone as her family…. blah blah blah. Next thing, she shouted, “are you absolutely stupid?” My lovely next class who were waiting outside to come in, gasped in horror, volunteering to beat her up for me.

Let’s just thank God I was fasting. Things could have gone downhill from there. To be honest, I’m not sure what I would have done. I just carried on walking to the office. Handed the phone to them, she came in after me and was barking mad! Slammed doors, kicked chairs and stormed out. Mad as a ticked off hornet.

My colleagues had just seen what happened and were asking if I was okay. Well, I said yes as I really was. I didn’t even raise my voice or respond to her madness. There’s no point trying to calm an angry bull. You’ll get hurt. Again, I’m quite surprised she didn’t reach for her phone as it was in my hand. My angel must have warned the demon not to even try it or else, they would have an early one-way ticket to hell!

My next class must have been surprised I came back normal. The incident shook me just a teeny bit but I was back to normal in no time (the victory). I even confiscated one of them’s phone but his mama raised him well and he apologised and got it back. Again, another first time offender.

The fasting paid off and I was very grateful to God for the pre-warning. Infact, I didn’t even follow up the incident. In my opinion, she wasn’t talking to me. Otherwise, she for hear am. From Papa God Himself!!

What would you have done if a 13/14 year old year said that to you? Let me know in the comments below. Especially you my African readers!

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