Today, I Lost A Bet

Today, I had a reason to smile.

I’ve spent the last four weeks teaching a Year 6 class at my old school. I’m a relief teacher, but I’m part of the furniture. In these few weeks, I’ve helped run a global project, and learnt a lot about myself and my students. I’ve loved the opportunity to treat a class as my own, even for such a short time.

Now, I have several students, mostly Indigenous, for whom school attendance is a significant issue. One charming young lady usually turns up about 1-2 hours late every day, … let’s call her Ann.


Yesterday, I made a bet.

Ann was literally jumping ‘up and down’ wanting to be the official ‘school bell ringer’ for the day, a responsibility recently delegated to our class. I had to point out that turning up each day between 9.30AM-10.30AM wasn’t a good start.

So I made a bet that if Ann “could actually, just possibly, turn up to school before 8.40AM” [i.e. on time], she would be our bell ringer. If she didn’t turn up, I’d give the job to someone else.


I lost.

I walked into school at 8.15AM, a little bit wet and keen to see the outcome of my little wager … and who was the first person I saw as I entered our undercover area?

A triumphant, wet and beaming student, beside herself with anticipation.

I fell over. Not literally, but close enough. This was quite an achievement.

While I made a big deal of “moaning” about losing my bet, I will never forget this moment. I’ll never forget that triumphant smile .. my little victory.

I’ve had some sad, stressful times as a teacher. But these are the little  moments which make my job special.

These “little victories” are what teaching is all about.

3 thoughts on “Today, I Lost A Bet

  1. Thanks for sharing! I smiled all the way through it. I hope you continue to share your triumphs along with the "trying" moments in your teaching career. I regret the fact that I did not keep a journal during my 26 years of teaching. There were so many funny comments from my students that I should have documented. I hope you will save all of your wonderful stories to reread throughout your teaching career. Good luck and I hope you get your own classroom soon.

  2. Thanks for the comments guys! I do keep a personal journal, documenting the highs and lows of my teaching career; however, this was the first time I've really had a 'little story' to share and treasure in the years to come.Thanks to @coatsea for encouraging me to write about it.

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