Making An Example of An ‘Untouchable’
I dislike entering a university class on the first day. Especially, if I am the one teaching it. The class I entered some time back was one of those class. It was filled with students who will become teachers. I was told that there was someone who was ‘untouchable’. I was told that I should, by no means punish him due to his connections. Unfortunately, he started skipping class and I had to make an example of him.
To give you a bit of a background, this untouchable is relatively well connected. He was charming and dashing, which meant that he won the hearts of some of the teaching staff. He was also the president of the student body. It was thus an unspoken rule that he could get away with almost everything. This was because most would cut him a lot of slack. At times, he was given way too much leeway.
I heard of this ‘untouchable’ before I went to class and was looking forward to meeting him. He unfortunately, never showed for two weeks. When he finally showed up, he said that he was busy running around completing tasks for my colleagues. Puzzled as I was, his story checked out. Thus, I left him off with a warning.
However, the problems continued and he started coming late for class. Upon confirming that he was not late due to his obligations as student body president, I confronted him.
I sat him down to talk about what he was doing. I pointed out that it was inappropriate for him, being on scholarship to skip class that often. He smiled. He mentioned that I should chill and just let it slide. I pointed out to him that he would one day be a teacher. One day, he would face a student like himself, a student with connections. At that time, he would have to set an example for the class.
I reached into my back and pulled up a warning letter detailing his wrongdoing. If he received 3 of these warning letters, he would fail the entire semester. The smile on his face faded and he left.
The following day, three of my colleagues and a head of department came to personally request that I retract my warning letter. They claimed that Mr ‘untouchable’ deserved a second chance. I disagreed and told them about his attitude. They left and asked me to reconsider. I however, stood firm.
As I entered class, Mr Untouchable was nowhere to be found. I asked where he was and the class responded with ‘the yush (usual stuff)’. One brave soul then asked if the rumors of me giving him a warning letter was true. I responded with a yes. That brave student then said that it was best if I did not cause any trouble, ‘for my sake’.
After half an hour, he arrived. He was not remorseful at all. I then addressed the class. I pointed out that every one of the class will be a teacher one day. As a teacher, we adhere to a higher standard. I acknowledged that they were all university students and therefore deserved some leeway. However, it does not mean that they have complete freedom to do whatever the want.
I mentioned that once they graduate they will be expected to set a good example. If they were used to being late, how can they expect their future students to be early. I then took out a second warning letter and handed it to Mr untouchable.
I told the class that I have nothing against anyone of them. However, I want them to know how to react if they were to come across someone who has connections. Someone who may seem to have special privileges in school. I pointed out that no one should be above the rules of the school and I hope that when the time comes, they will do the right thing.
I received some backlash after that incident, even from my director. However, the warning letters stuck. My students never came late after that incident including Mr Untouchable. He and I left on good terms but I do hope that my actions would help some teacher execute their duties one day fairly. No matter what the consequences may be, I hope they do the right thing.