“David, Please report to the Director’s office as soon as your class finishes. He needs to talk to you.” A program assistant handed me a note with those sentences on it. Gulp!
In the early 1980s, my wife and I, without much thought, accepted teaching positions on the Greek island of Lesbos. It was a Greek island, so what could possible go wrong?
It was a prep school that high school students attended in the late afternoons/evenings after high school to study English. Shortly after arriving, we met one of the teachers whom we were replacing. He told us that the school had a lot of discipline problems because many of the students didn’t want to be there. He said that the teacher-turnover was quite high as a result. In fact, a couple of teacher had just disappeared a few months earlier.
On the first day of class, as we walked down the hallway, we could see students literally chasing each other around the class rooms and jumping on the desks. My first class was with 16 tenth-grade students. Although most of the students paid little attention to me but instead continued to chat as I started the lesson, there were three female students sitting in the front row appearing eager to begin. Those three became the focus of my attention. Gradually, most of the others started to engage in the lesson, while a couple slept or doodled or looked out the window.