a teacher - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
The teacher had the look of one who had grown too fast in his youth, his bulk never catching up to his bones. He had to duck on entering the room, before edging toward his vinyl desk in his corduroy jacket and decade old flared trousers. The kids couldn't look at him without being reminded of Basil Fawlty. He had the same waning but wild brown hair and the way he held his lanky frame and gestured with his hands screamed comedy. Within seconds of entering the room the kids had spread picnics on the table and begun loud conversations about last nights television or a favoured computer game. Only the four girls at the front listened and read their text...
He was one teacher the kids could never get the better of. Whatever witty retort they had, he had one better. He took their disobedience and turned into an advantage for himself, but not through belittling them or stamping authority. He checked their behaviour with a style of humour they could relate to, aspire to even. When he taught it was with the passion of a life long teacher, someone who lived to inspire a love of learning in the next generation.
The teacher walked into the room like he was expecting perfect order. There was none of the nervousness about him that usually came with new blood into the inner-city comprehensive. Ordinarily they shouted the odds from the start in some desperate and strained voice trying to follow the manual of teacher training college. But his man beckoned them in as if he'd known them his whole life and set about ordering his desk and papers. He wasn't tweedy or one one of the trendy ones in jeans and t-shirts. He had none of the middle-aged spread that he could have had at his age. He was dressed in a classic grey suit with a golden tie over a pressed white shirt. Quite possibly he dressed better than the principle, but somehow he belonged in those clothes with his close cropped hair and neat goatee of silver-flecked brown. From the glow of his skin he could have stepped right off a plane from the Caribbean. When he spoke, much to the surprise of the class, they all fell silent...
The teacher had a hawkish air about her. Even her nose was curved and beaky. She had eyes of palest blue that fixed you in ice should you dare disagree or talk out of turn. She was willow-wand thin, so stick-like that it was hard to imagine her eating much at all, at least not without wiping her narrow lips after every bite. Her hair wasn't so much blonde as a washed out brown, like it just couldn't be bothered to be any colour at all. Like many women of her age she had it cut short to hide its lack of volume. There was no way in the world this woman had a happy home-life. If she had a husband he was hen-pecked. Every movement she made betrayed her internal frustrations that bounced inside her like sound in a deep cave. In the classroom she was a chained monster, bound by rules and statutes. A century ago she would have been brutal with the cane I'm sure.
Marvin sank into his forties like a favourite old armchair. He felt like this age was where he was supposed to be. Reminiscing his youth with his wife was fun, but he wasn't wishing to go back there. Those were crazy times, anxious times, building a career and financing a home. The hectic life of toddlers had given way to the social whirl of teenagers but in general life had slowed to a more sedate pace. Now he was head of his department and the local high-school, the house was half-paid for and his wife had gone back to work part-time. He ran the soccer-club, played golf and volunteered with his church. Everywhere he went he was greeted by students and their parents, many of whom were in his classes themselves years before. He didn't mind the white hair that lay snowy against his black skin, he wasn't bothered about taking his belt out a few notches. Life was good and the horizons clear.
The teacher had the look of one who had woken up one spring morning to find that their youth had passed by before they had had any fun. She gazed at the class as if their faces had become a sea, a moving mass of nothing she could focus on or care about. The lesson poured out from her in the same dull pattern it had for the past fifteen years, she even breathed in the same places. The smart suits she had diligently worn as a new graduate and given way to elastic waist-banded pants and long flowing tops. Her face knew how to perform all the right gestures, but the passion behind them had long since abandoned her. Most days her still brown hair was swept up into a plastic clasp, not to look professional, but to hide the fact that she was overdue for a shower. She still handed out homework, but didn't care if the kids did it or not. More coming back to her meant more marking, that meant less soap operas, never a good thing as far as she was concerned.
The teacher had the look of middle-aged housewife gone to seed. She peered at the class through unmade-up eyes that had developed crows feet. Her eye-brows were so thin as to be barely there and her eyelashes were short and stubby. As such her pallid skin aged her beyond her years. She had the misfortune to be a blonde, and no doubt that had been attractive in her youth, but now she simply looked washed out. Her cardigan was tight about her middle, perhaps when new it was loose, but in the light of the mid-morning it looked worn and shabby. The mid-blue wool had a furry texture and at least one button was missing. Her eyes were so washed out that it was hard to tell their hue, and to be frank, no-one cared to look at her long enough to find out. She smiled at the class in that way people do when they'd rather be sitting at home with a cup of coffee, door locked and day-time TV on. When she spoke her words limped out in all their monochrome glory, separated by extended pauses...
Doesn't notice chaos in classroom, teaches as if everyone is listening, casually dodges projectiles and carries on talking, tall and thin, eccentric wiry hair sticks out in all directions, speaks softly, sets homework every lesson although only one person ever does it, wears t-shirts with peace and love symbols or environmental slogans, always wears brown flared pants, nods to himself when he thinks he's made a good point, calls all the boys Henry and all the girls Susan regardless of what they are called, eats a hummus sandwich and two apples for lunch every day, hums happily to himself when he's not talking.
Air-headed teacher, forgetful, day-dreams, tells irrelevant stories in class about her pet spaniel, is secretly a genius working on engineering problems in her spare time.
Teacher is a zombie, covers stench of rotting flesh with rose scented perfume, teaches about tasty food to make the brains taste better, prefers the plump brains of clever children, has diabolical schemes for getting brains, foiled by her clever pupils.
Horrible, nasty, vile, hideous, spiteful, smells of pine-fresh laundry detergent, concocts diabolical assignments with multiple subsections and a complicated marking scheme, never gives homework extensions, has a uni-brow, has a neat moustache, is almost bald, loves knitting hats for newborns in his spare time.
Dr. L.P. Jones’ history classroom was exactly like the other classrooms at the college. Keep that in mind because every day, as he spoke, it was transformed by some miracle. One day in class, I heard the roar of World War I cannons as they exploded in France, l914. I never knew what to expect next. I found myself in World War I trenches with the French or British, fighting cold the enemy, cold, downpours of rain, and hunger. I remember one time, I flew missions in a two winged plane, and was shot down. I listened to a speech of Winston Churchill over the radio to the British people during World War II. On another day, I ventured into the halls of justice to witness the cross examination of a Nazi war criminal. Every one or two weeks at most, I would travel the world with the rich and powerful. I sat in the presence of countless heroes of civilization, and explorers of the Amazon River. There was something always going on in Dr. L.P. Jones’ classroom. I strongly suspect it continued.