On Mondays, my first class was scheduled at 8am. French grammar at 8am... you understand that I was neither fully awaken nor fully happy on Monday mornings. To tell you the truth, I generally stood in front of 36 pupils neither more awaken nor happier than me.
I tried to give them exercises; I tried to correct previous exercises; to ask two or three pupils to give a presentation on such or such topic in order to start a debate, then on a topic they chose; I tried each and every thing. The sole solution would have been to cancel the class (or to prevent the pupils, and myself, from watching the Sunday midnight movie).
Actually, I decided to read aloud. I liked to read; pupils were relieved not to have too much to do (the understatement of the century!) and many of them folded their arms, put their heads on this cushion and finished quietly their night. It was the right time for reading: they were so still that I could have whispered and still be heard; or maybe they wished I would whisper so that they would not have been disturbed during their nap.
One Monday, the bell rang... and I awoke. Before I was known as the teacher who fell asleep in the classroom, I attacked: "I had never met such boring pupils".
Then, I spent the Monday morning classes standing near the first row, hoping that only horses slept standing up.
Gabrielle Guichard is a French teacher who can be listened to on FrenchPodcasting.com.