Take a walk down memory lane from the time you first sat in a class room. What do you remember most clearly? Is it recess, the lessons that seemed to draw on forever or the random one-liners your teachers pulled after which holding back your laughter proved difficult? Reflecting back to all the years spent as a student, I recall the following lines being frequently used by my teachers and even though each teacher is different, I'm sure you are familiar with most:
1. Is this a fish market?
When exactly this phrase will be used depends on the teacher's threshold of patience. A very strict teacher will respond to a few mere whispers with this line while others will wait till the classroom has reached a state of uncontrollable chaos and will be convinced that it is no better than one of the most crowded, noisiest places – a fish market.
2. This is not your bedroom/ living room!
If the teacher should find any student slouching, resting their face in their hands or simply sitting in a position that ensures the slightest bit of comfort, they will respond with this line paired with a stern glare until the student adopts a more robotic posture.
3. I have eyes at the back of my head.
This metaphor(?) is used to threaten students lest they wish to peek at their peer's exam script or discuss answers while the teacher's back is turned.
4. I will take the/an exam tomorrow.
5. Pin drop silence!
Either the teacher has assigned time for silent reading or quickly needs to go to the next room to bring something and they want “pin drop silence”. I can't say how many other teachers have done this but mine once picked out a pin from the board and let it drop to the ground to see if we were following instructions.
6. Bashay eishob shikhaye?
Misbehaving with another student, failing to be punctual in class or incorrectly answering a very easy question may earn you this reaction, roughly translating to “Is this what you've been taught at home?”
7. If the girls behave like this what should I expect from the boys?
When a group of male students are being particularly noisy, a teacher may not be too alarmed because “boys will be boys” but when it's a loud group of giggling girls, the teacher is likely to react with disappointment and shock as girls, apparently, by nature are meant to be soft spoken and quieter, thus more well-behaved compared to boys. #EverydaySexism
8. When I was your age...
Struggling with a math problem on the day you're learning it? Your disappointed teacher will probably sigh, “When I was your age, I could solve tougher problems.”
9. What is so interesting? Please share.
If you hear this, it means you're BUSTED. Maybe you were looking out the window for too long, or were caught whispering/passing chits instead of paying attention and now you must share your topic of side talk or worse – say who you were staring at through the window. Embarrassing, I know.
10. I will send you to the principal's office.
This is every teacher's last, and probably favourite, resort (and usually just a bluff). When all their other warnings fail and the teacher is completely fed up with the student, he/she will be dealt with by the all-powerful principal.
Salma Mohammad Ali fears she is becoming a crazy cat lady and uses writing as a means to grasp on to sanity. Send her your views/hate/love at https://www.facebook.com/salma.ali209