The children fixed their eyes upon Anne. Anne gazed back, feeling helpless.
"Now, children," began Miss Enderby firmly, "you are very, very lucky this term1 to have Miss Lacey for your new teacher."
Anne gave a watery smile. The children's faces were unmoved.
"Miss Lacey," repeated Miss Enderby with emphasis. "Can you say that?"
"Miss Lacey," chorused the class obediently.
"Perhaps you could say 'Good morning' to your new teacher?" suggested Miss Enderby in an imperative tone.
"Good morning. Miss Lacey," came the polite chorus.
"Good morning, children," responded Anne in a voice which bore no resemblance to her own.
Miss Enderby motioned to the children to take their seats. "I should give out paper and coloured pencils," said Miss Enderby, "as soon as you've called the register2. Keep them busy while you're finding your way about the cupboards and so on."
She gave a swift look round the class. "I expect you to help Miss Lacey in every way," said the headmistress. "D'you hear me, Arnold?"
The little boy addressed, who had been crossing and uncrossing his eyes in an ugly manner for the enjoyment of his neighbours, looked suitably crest-fallen.
"If I were you, I should keep an eye on that boy," murmured Miss Enderby. "Broken home — brother in Borstal — and some rather dreadful habits!"
Anne looked with fresh interest at Arnold and thought he looked quite different from what Miss Enderby said about him. Far too innocent and apple-cheeked to have such a record. But even as she looked, she saw his pink face express his scorn of Miss Enderby who was giving her final messages to the new teacher.
"Break at ten forty-five, dear," said the headmistress. "Come straight to the staff room. I will wait there till you join us. I will introduce you to those you didn't meet on your first visit. How do you like the idea of having a cup of tea then? We need rest after all. If there's anything that puzzles you, I shall be in my room. You can depend on me. Just send a message by one of the children."
She made her way to the door and waited before it, eyebrows raised as she turned her gaze upon the children. They gazed back in some bewilderment.
"Is no one going to remember his manners?" asked Miss Enderby.
With a nervous start Anne hastened forward to the door, but was waved back by a movement of her headmistress's hand. A dozen or more children made a rush to open the door. A freckled girl with two skinny red plaits was the first to drag open the door. She was rewarded by a smile.
"Thank you, dear, thank you," said Miss Enderby and sailed majestically into the corridor. There came a faint sigh of relief as the door closed behind her, and the forty-six tongues which had so far kept unnaturally silent began to wag cheerfully. Anne watched this change with some dismay. She remembered with sudden relief some advice given her at college in just such a situation.
"Stand quite still, be quite calm, and gradually the children will become conscious that you are waiting. Never, never attempt to shout them down."
So Anne stood her ground waiting for the chattering to subside. But the noise grew in volume as conversations became more animated. One or two children ran across the room to see their distant friends. Two little boys attacked each other. A child with birthday cards was displaying their beauties to an admiring crowd round her desk. Arnold had removed his blue pullover and was attempting to pull his shirt over his head, in order to show his friends a scar on his shoulder-blade.
'Amidst growing chaos Anne remained silent. She looked at the clock which jerked from one minute to the next and decided to let it leap once more before she abandoned hope.
One crumb of comfort, if comfort it could be called, remained with her. This was an outburst of natural high spirits. Her presence, she noted, meant nothing at all to them.
A chair fell over, someone yelped with pain, there was a burst of laughter, and Anne saw the clock jump to another minute. Anne advanced into action.
"To your desks!" she roared, "And quickly!" With a pleasurable shock she saw her words obeyed. Within a minute order had returned. Refreshed by the break the children turned attentive eyes upon her. Anne's self-esteem crept back.
(From "Fresh from the Country" by Miss Reed)
1. to look v i/t 1. å. ä. I looked (up, down) at the opposite house, but saw no lights in its windows.
Syn. to stare, to gaze
to look means "to use one's eyes, to try to see", e. g. He looked at me, but didn't recognize me.
to stare means "to look steadily, with wide-open eyes, often with curiosity or surprise, or vacantly
chorus n, v differ v join v
comfort n, v difference n look n, v
comfortable adj different adj rest n, v
convenience n gaze n, v run v
convenient adj headmistress n stare n, v
depend v unite v
to fix one's eyes on/upon smb.
to feel helpless
to give a smile (a nod, a look, etc.)
to bear (to have) a strong resemblance to
to motion to smb.
to give out (pencils, leaflets, readers, workcards, sets of material, etc.)
to call the register (the roll)
to keep an eye on smb.
to give (send) a message
to turn one's eyes (gaze) upon smb./smth.
to run across
to run into
to run over
to shout smb. down
to abandon hope
I. Read the text and talk on the following points (A. Grammar, B. Word usage):
A. 1. Why is the Present Perfect used in "... as soon as you've called the register"? 2. Why is the Past Perfect Continuous used in "... who had been crossing and uncrossing his eyes in an ugly manner ..."? 3. Why is the Present Indefinite used in "... till you join us"? and in "If there's anything that puzzles you ..."? 4. Tick off all the sentences with the oblique moods. Translate them.
B. Pick out all the words and phrases describing the children's actions.
II. Read the following words with silent t, p, gh. Memorize them:
V. What nouns are these adjectives derived from? What is the meaning of the suffixes -ed, -y? Translate the adjectives:
a) freckled, nosed, haired, winged, horned, bearded, feathered;
b) watery, skinny, grassy, silky, bony, branchy, wavy, stony.
VI. Answer these questions:
1. How was Anne introduced to her class? 2. What did she feel at that moment? What words does the author choose to describe her feelings? 3. What instructions did the headmistress give to the young teacher? What do you think of them? 4. Why did Anne "look with fresh interest at Arnold?" Describe Arnold's appearance and behaviour. 5. How did the other children behave in Miss Enderby's presence? (Find words describing their behaviour.) 6. Why do you think "there came a faint sigh of relief" after Miss Enderby left the classroom? Describe the children's behaviour after she left. 7. What advice given her at college did Anne remember? Did she follow the advice? What was the result? Why did the children behave like that? 8. How did Anne restore the order? Do you think it was the only way out? 9. Comment on the words: "Anne's self-esteem crept back".
VII. Comment on the meaning of the prepositions for, in, with in the sentences below:
A. 1. ... you are very, very lucky this term to have Miss Lacey for your new teacher. 2. They chose him for their leader. 3. Must you have George for a master — here, and our mother for a school-mistress? 4. I still want you for my wife.
B. 1. "Perhaps you could say 'Good morning' to your new teacher?" suggested Miss Enderby in an imperative tone. 2. "Good morning, children," responded Anne in a voice which bore no resemblance to her own. 3. They conversed in a whisper.
C. 1. They gazed back in some bewilderment. 2. If a man is in grief, who cheers him; in trouble, who consoles him; in wrath, who soothes him; in joy, who makes him double happy; in prosperity, who rejoices; in disgrace, who backs him against the world? Who but woman?
D. 1. Anne looked with fresh interest at Arnold. 2. Anne' watched this change with some dismay. 3. With a nervous start Anne hastened forward to the door. 4. She remembered with sudden relief some advice given her at college in just such a situation.
E. i. ... someone yelped with pain. 2. His voice trembled with horror. 3. He was dying with hunger. 4. The boys were speechless with fear. 5. Ruth's eyes were wide with wonder.
VIII. Form adjectives and nouns from the given words with the help of the prefixes un-, in-, mis-, dis-:
Can you remember your first day ... school? It was probably rather confusing. I am sure you ran ... your mother thinking she was deserting you. When the child goes ... school ... his first day, he has to watch ... his mother leaving. The teacher must convince him that ... the end ... the day his mother and his home will still be there. It is difficult to make the newcomer join ... a game or a walk. A new life, completely different ... what he is used ... begins.
The mothers are as upset as their children. They hang...... their eyes fixed ... their children and dislike leaving them ... their fate.
The best way to deal ... the situation is to get the child used ... the idea ... school, to help him ... every way. Much depends ... the parents. ... the beginning ... the term the mother should take her child to see the teacher and to look ... the school. The first day should be something to look......and not to be feared.
b) Retell what you've read.
c) What measures would you suggest to settle the newcomers?
X. Study Vocabulary Notes, translate the illustrative sentences into Russian and write your own sentences with the new words and phrases.
XI. Use state or gaze instead of look where possible:
1. It's impolite to look at people like that. 2. A big crowd stood on the pavement looking at a broken car. 3. No wonder people stand looking at this picture for hours: it's beautiful. 4. The little boys stood looking at each other ready to start a fight. 5. Look at her: again she is looking out of the window with that strange expression of hers. 6. When I looked at her eyes I guessed that she had cried. 7. The Greek myth runs that Narcissus looked at his own reflection in the water until he fell in love with it. 8. He stood looking around as if he tried to impress on his memory everything he saw.