He surveyed the assembling class and gulped back an innate fear of the classroom and thought: I have to make this work. He was on his last chance. In the back of his mind were the words of the Principal: Mr Papstone we are giving you this last chance in this school because we think you are basically a good man. We have tried you in various teaching positions throughout the school but none seemed to have been your calling. Here is a new start as Careers Advisor. As you know this is an academically selective school, we teach the future doctors, lawyers, engineers and accountants. They want to go to University; they are all concerned that they get the results needed to get them there. Your job Mr Papstone is to make sure they have before them all the information they need to make the right choice. Everything you need has been put onto the Careers Advisor’s computer by the previous Careers Advisor, you simply have to access it.
The room was filling up and many of the students were looking very sceptically at him. They recalled him from the days when they were in his English class, his History class and his Geography class. Amongst the students he was known as Mr Blackstone, as they saw him as a black hole from which only negative matter emerged. There had been parent complaints along with student complaints that they learnt nothing, were getting nowhere and that Mr Papstone, as a teacher was a waste of space.
At one stage they made him the drama teacher with the hope that anyone could do that. After all they said how hard could it be, there is a room full of play scripts, choose one and let them learn it and put on a play. Drama they said was student driven. You can’t go wrong they assured him.
So he handed out the plays and off they went. He was happy with the class and with the progress until one student asked him to be the director and produce the play.
He stammered excuses and tied himself in knots, the students once again saw him as a joke and ignored all his instructions and took to playing theatre sports an activity that completely bewildered him.
After the fourth failure the school was reluctant to sack him but gave him the job he was about to do now.
He had prepared for this careers talk. He had thought about careers all night and decided that even though there was an expectation within the cohort of some professional career he would give them something to consider…after all he thought what have I got to lose.
And so he began….
|TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,|
|And sorry I could not travel both|
|And be one traveller, long I stood|
|And looked down one as far as I could|
|To where it bent in the undergrowth;………….
After each stanza he elaborated on his perception of a career. He looked down and to his surprise his audience was gazing back at him transfixed by this rhetoric.
In the back of the room he noticed the Principal and her Deputy standing against the back wall both intently listening as well.
Determined to do well he ploughed on and concluded with the final stanza.
|I shall be telling this with a sigh|
|Somewhere ages and ages hence:|
|Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—|
|I took the one less travelled by,|
|And that has made all the difference.|
‘What?’ he said to them, ‘Will be the difference in your lives. Will you stick to the tried and tested or be brave and take that road less travelled.’
To his utter surprise the students applauded enthusiastically and he stood before them enjoying his first good lesson ever.
Maybe he thought to himself later after receiving praise from the Principal that this might be his calling after all.
He drifted off to sleep with the thought: I’m off down the road less travelled.