Keeping twenty-five schoolchildren reasonably happy and on task for a solid hour was harder than it looked.
As Rebecca Kinsinger stood at the front of the classroom and eyed the group of students staring right back at her, she realized she had seriously misjudged her ability to manage small children.
In the last hour, the twenty-five students, ranging in ages from five to fourteen, had decidedly taken the upper hand. They’d talked to one another. They’d ignored her wishes. They didn’t seem all that interested in the work their usual teacher had assigned them to do. Even the four children whom she knew well were acting up. Evan, Samuel, Maisie, and Gretel Kurtz acted as if they had forgotten that their elder sister, Darla, was married to Rebecca’s brother Lukas.
It seemed that different rules applied at school than when they visited her home.
As she watched a pair of girls pass notes to each other, Rebecca didn’t even bother to intervene. She was coming to the conclusion that the only thing the students did seem rather excited about was the approach of the end of the school day.
In fifteen minutes’ time, to be exact.
She was starting to get excited about the end of the day, too.
As a low murmur of voices grew louder by tiny degrees with each passing minute, Rebecca decied that she didn’t blame Rachel Mast, the students’ teacher, for taking her time returning. Rachel had needed Rebecca’s help watching her class because she had a doctor’s appointment, but being alone with this bunch for eight hours at a time would make anyone yearn for a break.
As two sweet-looking girls sitting in the middle of the first row started giggling to each other, Rebecca knew that it was time to regain control. Otherwise, Rachel would never let her help out in her classroom again, and Rebecca really wanted to learn how to be a good teacher.
She clapped her hands lightly. “Kinner, please. All of you have assignments to complete. It is time to get busy and work.”
After a pause, about half of them quieted and settled into their assignments. Two of the oldest boys, however, merely started at her.
When it became apparent that neither of them was in any hurry to mind her, she wove her way through the row of desks until she stood directly in front of them. “I was talking to you boys as well.”
The sandy-haired boy smirked. “Oh. I wasna sure, ’cause no one’s called me a child for well on two years.”
“You might not be a small child but you are certainly not a grown-up.” She placed her hands on her hips and fastened her eyes on him. “Now get busy.”
Shelley Shepard Gray lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. A busy wife and mother of two, she spends her days writing and keeping track of her two teenagers. Her two dogs keep her company when she writes in her basement. When not spending time with her family or writing, she serves on several committees in her church. Shelley enjoys writing about the Amish and visits Amish communities several times a year.
Her latest book, A Daughter’s Dream, releases tomorrow!
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