"Hey," she whispered, though the 'whisper' was loud enough for the class to hear, "I'm Shirley."
Shane didn't look up but managed to give out a soft, "Hello."
"Are you shy?" Shirley 'whispered' some more, leaning closer to him and trying to peer at his face.
"Shirley?" came Teacher Alba's voice from the front.
Shirley immediately sat up straight, turned to face the front and smiled sheepishly, "Yes, Teacher."
"No talking during lessons," Teacher Alba told her, "You can talk to Shane during break time."
"Okay, Teacher Alba," Shirley replied.
Alba waited for a while until she was sure everyone had settled down, then continued with the class rules.
"Rule number 2," Alba continued, "Is just what I told Shirley. No talking during lessons. This means when a teacher is in front and talking, you must not talk. You should listen properly and pay attention."
"If you want to speak in class during lessons, or if you need to go to the bathroom, then Rule 3 applies. Raise your hand and wait to be called," Alba said with a smile.
Shirley immediately raised her hand.
Alba smiled and then called her, "Yes, Shirley?"
"Nothing," she replied with a smile, "I wanted to see how it works."
Alba laughed a bit at that, then continued with the rest of the rules:
* Follow directions
* Be diligent and work properly
Alba didn't want to make too many rules or make it complicated.
Knowing the rules is one thing, but actually understanding them and doing them is another.
Thus, five was more than enough for a start. It would be something that the kids would need to get used to and it would serve as a guide while they were in class. All of them were going to school for the first time, and she had yet to know their personalities and capabilities.
However, it was obvious that Shirley was going to be one of the chatterboxes while Alex appeared to be the more serious and studious type. Throughout her telling them of the rules, he had not moved from his seat and was listening intently.
She had never had a student like this. Even though this was her first 'official' class, she had experienced being a teaching assistant while doing her courses. She was prepared for emotional, rambunctious children or quiet ones that struggled, but did not expect to come across such a serious student.
However, when she thought of who his father was, perhaps this was normal?
His sister, Aurora, did not appear to be as serious as her brother so perhaps she took after their mother?
Whatever it was, Alba took note of this and would be jotting it down in her journal at the end of class. Knowing your students was important in order to guide them throughout the year.
Alba smiled as she made her mental notes.
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Alex was bored.
So so so bored.
They've had Mathematics and English so far and it was so elementary that Alex thought it had been a joke at first.
Simple recitation of numbers up to twenty. Addition of single digits.
Spelling simple words. Reading books like 'Hide and Seek' which had been so uninteresting that it was enough to put him to sleep.
Give him 100 ways to stab someone anytime.
Suddenly, the countless hours his father put him through during training seemed so much more fun as compared to this. The discipline required was high, and though he complained bitterly in his heart, it was at this moment that he felt all of that was nothing compared to what he was going through right now.
Being bored to death.
And having to look like he wasn't.
Right now, everyone was busy doing some maths worksheets. They had just been taught the concept of time, and how to tell time. Some knew and some did not so the maths teacher, Teacher Lee, started from the basics.
Alex looked at his sister and noted that she had long finished the worksheets and was now simply doodling on it.
Unlike him, Rory had inherited their mother's skills in art and she liked to pass her time doodling like this. Alex leaned a bit closer to see what she was doodling, but was surprised to see that she wasn't doodling.
She was sketching.
As her fingers flew across the paper, shapes emerged. It was basically a head shot of the six of them. Rory and him were in the middle, with Fleur and Shirley beside Rory while Ziad and Shane were beside him.
"It's a waste to draw it there," Alex commented, "You should have your sketchbook with you. Keep it like a diary."
"I forgot it today," Aurora explained with a sigh.
Like Alex, she was also very bored.
In twin speech - that is, a language that only the two of them knew - she complained, "I thought school would be fun. But once classes start, it is such a drag."
"But the teacher needs to be fair on everyone, I suppose," Alex mused as he watched Shirley bug Fleur for the answer.
"I guess," Aurora replied, laying her head down on the table. She lay her cheek on the surface while her fingers didn't stop moving.
This time, however, she was doodling instead.
She liked doodling shapes, and it began with a little circle before it expanded outwards. Alex continued to watch his sister pass the time, finding it rather relaxing to see the pattern emerge.
Both were so engrossed in their own method of passing the time that they didn't notice the teacher coming up at them. He stood behind Aurora, silently observing what the kids were doing.
At first, he had come to give them a gentle reminder to do their work, only to note that they had finished it. Glancing at the others, he also noted that two others were done and was just helping the person next to them.
He pursed his lips, then silently went back to the teacher's desk and sat down.
He knew about these four.
Or rather, the parents of these four.
He tapped the table absent-mindedly with his pencil then took out some worksheets. Flipping through them, he took out a few and walked back to the table.
"Since you're done," Teacher Lee said, "Why don't you try these out. Pass them to me when you have finished them."
"Yes, Teacher Lee," the four of them replied.
Alex took the papers without complaint and sighed inwardly before he began.
There were various questions this time and not limited to drawing the lines of the clock or simple addition.
There were simple fractions where there was a circle that had lines drawn in them, indicating 'parts'. Thus, they had to colour the correct number of parts as according to the fraction. For example, ⅔ meant they were to colour two of the parts.
Alex felt like rolling his eyes at this.
There was addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
Simple arithmetics that Alex finished within minutes.
Then, another worksheet had 'fill in the blanks' with the correct number sequence. For example, 2 _ 4 _ 6 and so forth, reaching up to 100.
Alex felt like vomiting blood.
Alex was the first to finish, followed by Rory and soon, Fleur and Ziad. They looked at each other, got up and headed to the teacher's desk.
Teacher Lee nearly fell off his chair when they came up to him.
He looked at his watch and noted that not even fifteen minutes had passed since he gave them the worksheets. He covered his surprise quickly, smiled at them and took their worksheets.
"Was it hard?" he asked them, looking through the completed work quickly.
Not a single mistake by any of them.
They shook their heads.
His hands were trembling a bit as he put down the worksheets and gulped a little bit. It was mainly from excitement as the performance of these four children were beyond his expectations.
Sure, he knew that they were the children of the reputed 'Elite Five' but it did not necessarily meant that they would be as bright as their father was. In fact, all of the teachers in this class had come to an agreement to treat them normally and not give any preferential treatment.
Not to put pressure on them.
However, today, he had to rethink this and would have to bring this up with the Headmaster.
Being the teacher of Primary 1 students was extremely important. This was the time that their foundation was set and they had to ensure that the kids had the basic knowledge before going up to Primary 2 and so on.
If their foundation was weak, they'll suffer as they go up the grades.
Thus, their classes were small to ensure that they'd get the optimum attention and one would be able to adjust their teaching methods to suit all of the children. Not too fast so that the slower students can follow and not too slow so that the brighter students would get bored.
However, when it came to these four?
They were so far ahead of the class that it was impossible to adjust the speed to suit them.
It's tough, being bright. hahaha. Not that I would know. I was such an average student.
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