Today our morning started with a phone call. Mr CoolHead woke me up to announce that I have been approached for a ‘favour’ by someone ‘known’!
“I was expected to go easy in the examination hall”
As you see ‘examination fever’ is on and the heat is quite evident around. I remember the very first time when I went on an outstation examination duty. It was so weird that I actually penned it down. Today I am gonna share it with you. Remember these are the feeling of a teacher at her first tryst with the loop holes in education system.
First day and a person approaches me.
“You don’t look local to me! Are from Himachal (North Indian State)? Bet you are! Where else you can find such beautiful, soft spoken people? Even I come from there.”
Little flattered, I could not control my amusement. How do these ‘Himachalis’ tend to find me everywhere? Later I came to know that it was because of my ‘surname’.
I said delightfully, “Oh! That’s great. Nice to meet you…here!”
Yeah, ditto! Then he came straight to the point, “Actually, my son is sitting in the room you are invigilating. Would you mind taking little care of him?”
Oh! So this was the motive behind all that bonhomie.
I managed to say, “No, Yes. I mean No. Why would I…mind that! You don’t worry.”
Examination commenced and that son of this ‘Mr home-sake’, knowing that his father has ‘cleared’ the ground for him, started looking here and there, back and forth. I was in a shock ‘how parents even think of asking for such favours’? I had to bear huge nuisance in the room that day which made me immensely angry. I was constantly blaming myself for not saying YES…Yes, I would definitely mind doing that.
Only I know how I passed those three hours but good thing, I took my lesson for future and learned to handle such situations.
Other day another teacher came to me and told about her brother sitting in the room. She was damn sure of me.
I said, “Don’t worry.” But this time I was certain of what I was going to do. I restricted the fellow to a corner. Half time passed quite fine but now the brother was becoming restless. He kept looking towards me and I kept ignoring him, totally. But he almost turned backward and dared to call me, “Ma’am! I want to sit there!”
I was so shocked at his question. Was it even a question? He was telling me his desire. I was like “why on earth would I allow you to do that? Nobody’s going anywhere. Do your paper or leave!”
Once I said that many students started leaving otherwise they were too hopeful of what they think is ‘HELP’.
There’s one more problem you have to face while dealing with so and so’s son or brother or whatever, ‘the other students in the room’, they have witnessed such things in past and they know leniency will be granted so they keep sitting till the end of the exam, doing nothing but staring at you!
Well, one thing was sure many such proposals were definitely on the way and its better I learn to deal with them (Obviously without annoying anyone!).
Your first experience as an invigilator is unforgettable. Students ask you weird questions.
Ma’am, Can I sit with this guy?
Ma’am, Can I ask for a hint, please?
This is my last chance; I can clear this exam only if you be kind!
They never give up. Some look at you with such innocent eyes that you start questioning yourself, “Should I loosen a bit?” But then the honest teacher in you would shake you, “No!”
The foul means students use during exams are capable of sending you to a state of awe. Such creativity would have been helpful had they used it for right purpose.
I feel sorry for the students but I am not there to help them at least not this kind of help! If they curse me on the back, let it be!
I don’t know how should I react when on entering the examination room, student start making sorrowful gestures as if this is their worst day of life?
I don’t know how should I react when on seeing me invigilating them, they sign the attendance sheet and hand over the answer sheet without writing anything and leave?
I don’t know how should I react when I see that many students couldn’t even write the spellings of their roll numbers in words?
But one thing that I know very well is that purpose of education and level of students is on deterioration. I am standing on the other side of THE MIRROR and what I see from here, is not pleasing at all…. 🙁