| F is for Friendship |

F is for Friendship: The Sub

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Do you know what happens when your favorite teacher has a baby smack in the middle of the year?

You get a sub, but you knew that.

My question is what happens after that?

Either you get a great sub and your class behaves or you don’t and they don’t. We got the second half of the deal. Our substitute, Mrs. Berman, was a really nice person, but somehow it just didn’t work out. And our principal, Mrs. Katzman, was not thrilled by our behavior.

“Girls,” she said when she stepped into our classroom one day. “This cannot continue. Based on your behavior in the last two weeks, we have no choice but to issue an ultimatum. Any girl whose name gets sent to the office by Mrs. Berman in the next two weeks will not be coming on our school trip.”

Mrs. Katzman looked around the classroom. “That’s right, girls,” she said. “The fun and games are over. Every girl in this classroom has one more chance to prove she deserves to come on this trip. Just one.” She paused and stared for another moment before saying, “Don’t mess this up.”

“We won’t,” I whispered as Mrs. Katzman stepped out of the classroom and motioned for Mrs. Berman to come in.

I opened my math book, a slippery feeling of relief sliding through me. Not that I was ready to admit this to anyone but I was kinda glad Mrs. Katzman had come in. I was tired of the way our classroom had turned into a zoo. The constant noise gave me a headache, I had no clue how to do my homework and I hated watching Mrs. Berman beg us to please be quiet and stay in our seats.

All I wanted was a calm and normal afternoon and it looked like today was going to be my day.

For the first four seconds of the math lesson, the girls in my class actually sat in their seats quietly. Then someone threw a note across the classroom and someone else laughed.

“Come on,” I hissed. “Let’s just stay quiet.”

“Adina,” Mrs. Berman said. “Did you say something?”

I felt my cheeks flame.

“I just wanted everyone to stay quiet,” I said.

She looked at me. “You’re the only one talking,” she said.

I watched her hand reach for her pen. It hovered over her paper for about two seconds before she said, “Your name is actually the first on Mrs. Katzman’s list.”

Ouch! I felt like a basketball had hit me in the stomach.

I dropped my head close to my math book and bit my lip so hard it started to bleed.

Don’t cry, I told myself. Just don’t cry. Who cares about the silly trip anyway?

(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 747)


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