( Intermediate Level )
His English name is Billy and this is what his ESL teacher, Miss Clara, calls him. This is her second year seeing this young boy and his demeanor had changed dramatically since the year before.
Last year, in class, he listened carefully, participated when he could, and usually sat quietly in the classroom. This year it wasn’t so.
It was the beginning of the new school year and Miss Clara saw familiar faces and new ones. Billy’s was one. He made it a point to say hello and greet her with his usual high five and wonderful smile. This is the Billy she remembers.
It takes a few weeks of the new school year to have a permanent teaching schedule given to you. This allows the school time to work out the classroom sizes, and the amount of native English teachers available.
In the first few weeks, Miss Clara hadn’t seen Billy in any of her classes. It wasn’t until the fifth week had she received her permanent schedule and the classes she was responsible for.
As she followed her new schedule and alternating classes she discovered Billy was in her assigned classes along with other familiar faces. He was happy to see her and reached out for his usual high five.
On her first day teaching this class she noticed Billy had kept to himself more than before. She chalked it up to it being the beginning of the school year and everyone, staff and students alike, was adjusting.
It wasn’t until her third or fourth time in his classroom, that she noticed her once quiet student, from last year, was now very disrupted. He would stand up and flail his arms about, mumbling words that no one could understand, sometimes hitting himself about the body and head.
What had happened to make these changes in this student of hers? It is very difficult to get answers from other staff members, especially in a foreign country. Either they don’t question why or they assume he is a special needs student.
Clara was saddened to see this behavior in Billy. How was she to teach him now? She did the best she could. Involving him when she could and leaving him alone when he had his bad days, hoping he was listening when she taught.
As the weeks went by this same behavior continued until an incident happened that shook Clara. She kept her thoughts to herself for a while knowing the world is full of naysayers.
On this particular day, Billy was having a horrible day. He was unusually loud and physical. His homeroom teacher went to his desk not once but twice to quiet him. She motioned for him to get something out of his desk.
There are two students in this class who when they act out are to get out their small desktop whiteboards and write, draw, scribble, or whatever they choose to do. This is what his teacher asked him to retrieve.
Billy followed her instructions and he began to write something with great passion. He stood up and carefully showed the class what he wrote. Turning so as not to miss anyone seeing what was written.
He sat down and the class turned their attention once more to Miss Clara. She looked over at Billy and saw he was intent on what was on his whiteboard.
For the second time but much quieter, Billy stood up showing the class what was on his board. This time he made sure Miss Clara had seen.
What she read was unbelievable and no one knew what it truly meant except for Clara. She remembered seeing those words before.
Her morning teaching assistant and her locked eyes for a moment and she rolled her eyes. Clara thinks she must not truly understand.
For the remaining time of the English class, Billy sat quietly and Clara couldn’t wait to go on break so she could check on the internet to verify.
Tick tick tick the minutes went by. Miss Clara said goodbye to her students making sure to give Billy a high five. She was happy he responded. It was as if he was content with his mission of showing the class and her his message.
Clara sat at her usual bench outside pulling her cell phone out of her bag. She loved sitting there as it was in the sunshine plus the students would come down for their recess time soon., She loved watching them play.
She typed in the words she read on Billy’s whiteboard. She really tried to grasp the fact the words were above his grade level, they were written in English and with amazing penmanship and not a single spelling error.
She typed in the words he wrote “Korean International Flight 801”. Sure enough, this was a devastating plane crash that happened in 1997 before Billy was born.
She sat there just staring at the article. Trying to make sense of it. How can he know of such an event? How did he know how to spell it correctly? We are talking about a young boy at the age of seven soon to be eight. Not to mention his low-level English ability.
She finally shared this incident with her teaching assistant for her upper classes. He listened carefully and added his thoughts, “This student could have come across an article on the internet or heard someone talking about it.”
This could all be true but things weren’t adding up. It was not a recent event and she quickly realized the conversation would go nowhere with her assistant. She shrugged it off and changed the subject.
That evening she thought about the incident once more and thinks that maybe it may have been one of the victims of this disastrous flight using Billy as a conduit from the other side. He or she wanted to get a message to someone on this side.
Maybe Billy has a special gift that he doesn’t quite understand. No one will ever know unless he discovers this himself. For now, Miss Clara feels honored that she witnessed this firsthand and shares her story with others that believe.
topenwithangel.com: Deafening Silence (novel)
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Thoughts From Angel:
Usually, my writings are about life and circumstances that revolve around us as humans. Today’s story is a situation that hit close to home for me.
This story is 100% true. I was the teacher to this young boy. I have changed the names of those involved and will not share real pictures.
Can I say without a doubt what I think is happening is true? Absolutely not. I believe some people have the gift of spiritual connections and being a conduit for those on the other side.
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demeanor – noun: behavior
dramatically – adverb: large extent
participated – verb: take part in an action
chalk (ed ) it up – phrasal verb: to consider something as being caused by something else
flail – verb: to wave or swing arms wildly
mumbling – adjective: speaking in an indistinctive way
naysayers – noun: a person who criticizes, objects to, or opposes something
motioned – verb: direct or command (someone) with a movement of the hand or head
intent – noun: purpose
locked eyes – idiom: used to say that someone is looking at someone or something and not looking at anything else
content : happiness
devastating – adjective : destructive or damaging
disastrous – adjective: causing great damage
conduit – noun: a channel
firsthand – adjective: personal experience
Question ( s ):
Do you believe?
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