You Must Be Choking!
By Cilla Shiels
Teaching young students in their homes has its funny
side. I often see life behind the scenes which can be quite enlightening. A memorable
incident happened when a student’s mother was away visiting her family in India
leaving father to look after his son. During the session father said he needed to nip out on an errand
but he’d be back in time for my feedback.
Father kindly make me a cup of tea and provided me with a plate of biscuits before he
left. I don’t normally eat anything when I’m teaching because it doesn’t feel
professional. You don’t see teachers munching snacks in the classroom!
I made an exception because I thought how nice of dad’s hospitality, providing me with a
plate of biscuits to go with my usual cuppa. No sooner had I taken my
first bite of the hobnob and I realised my demise as the crumbs stuck to the
back of my throat and I started choking.
My student was unaware of my dilemma, busily working away on the task I’d set him, and
didn’t notice as I coughed, spluttered and went into panic mode. I nudged him
and mumbled, “Water, water,” in a funny, high-pitched voice. He looked at me, saw my sheer
horror at my predicament and ran swiftly into the kitchen and returned with a much-needed glass
of water. I apologised to the student once I’d cleared my throat of the demon crumbs.
I made sure dad was told about the incident on his return rather than hearing it from a ten-year-old’s version of the event.
Drinks of tea only after this no matter how hospitable the parent may be!