Frank, a teacher, armed only with a cup of tea

Three-minute story

Frank, a teacher, armed only with a cup of tea

Nobody really wants to break somebody else’s nose but then, sometimes an accident occurs and leaves you with a feeling that, in some way or other, it doesn’t really matter.

Steven was one of those boys who seem never to listen, never take notice, and when the bell rang for morning break he was always in a hurry to get outside to the playground. Fifteen minutes later he would be in a hurry again to return, to occupy one of the best seats at the back of the classroom. And yes, you’ve guessed it; at lunchtime he was desperately hungry and simply could not wait to sit down with a well-filled plate.

Rushing around a school’s corridors matters less when the corridors are empty. When they are full, people are trapped and vulnerable and bigger boys in a hurry can shove little boys, and girls, to one side. Then these smaller boys and girls might bump into other boys and girls, or hard walls, or the sharp endings of stairways or trays of hot food. Frank had explained this to Steven on numerous occasions, to no effect.

Sometimes, when you have exhausted all the words at your command you have to intervene, in this case to protect the smaller members of your school community. And this is what Frank did the next time he saw Steven approaching at full speed; he held out his arm. Unfortunately for Steven, at the end of Frank’s arm was Frank’s hand which was gripping a cup and saucer. When Steven came to a halt, he found that his nose had been broken by a break-time cuppa.

This is what your grandparents would call come-uppance. It’s what happens sometimes when we ignore good advice.

Did it matter that Steven’s nose was broken?
What would you have done about Steven?

Describe the most important telling off that you can remember.

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