A French Teacher's Memories: Boys Are Not Born in Cabbage Fields

Despite the persistent rumor, boys are not born in cabbage patches and girls in rose gardens. They do have parents. Mosts parents behave friendly, wish their kids being successful and support teacher's efforts. Some other are, let's say, less supportive, and teachers would prefer that pupils come from roses and cabbages.

One morning, I arrived at the school, singing, like usual, when a mother suddenly appeared and asked me:

- Is it you who teach my son French and Latin?

I knew neither who she was, nor, consequently, who her son was. Completely unaware of what I was going to trigger, I answered quietly:

- I don't know.

- What? You even don't know who your pupils are? And they entrust you with the education of our children! (As she began shouting, a crowd gathered.) Believe me, I will make a report on you. Consider yourself fired. And, and ... and...

She thought she had the keys of hell and could throw me into it.

I was waiting for the moment she would be short of cartridges (or short of breathe). It came.

- Excuse-me, Madame, but which teacher do you want to talk to?

Her jaw fell open. As I had hoped, she contemplated no longer that I could be the teacher she wanted to tell off, though it was an eventuality. She turned on her heel and walked away.

I still don't know who she was; she never attended a staff meeting with parents participating. Alas! I needed a gardener.

Gabrielle Guichard is a French teacher who helps you to learn French online.