A strange thing happened last week.
I was teaching transition year physics when I got into a row with a student over something petty.
I was in bad form to begin with, chasing my tail to get experiments in order for the various classes.
The student in question waisn’t doing a whole lot wrong, just playing with a broken spring.
Anyway, long story short, I had a go at him about breaking equipment which wasn’t his. He claimed it was broken to begin with, but because this gentleman didn’t exactly have an exemplary reputation I chose not to believe him and continued to give out to him.
Previous to this there had been a nice atmosphere in the class, but afterwards there was a noticeable tension.
Anyway, halfway through the class, while they were working on their experiment, I had a think about it and realised that I was way out of order.
The student in all probability did nothing wrong.
I figured that because I had given out to him in public, I had to apologise in public, so I stopped the class right there and then and apologised.
Know what happened?
The class gave me a round of applause.
It was rather touching, and I suspect that the student in question doesn’t get many apologies from teachers in the course of his school day.
All in all, an interesting experience.