[Chapter 053] “Teacher Bian, are you willing to stand on a larger stage?”
Li Li placed the materials in her hands on her desk and asked Li YuanQing, “What happened?”
Lu YunFei had also walked over to Li Li’s desk from Xiao Zhan’s desk.
“Teacher Li,” Lu YunFei got to the point, “I thought that the situation with teacher Zhang falsely accusing me had been settled at the department head’s office. However, teacher Zhang doesn’t think so. Even though she had apologised, she doesn’t think that she was in the wrong, and likely still resents me to the point where I’ve been made to stand outside class for every English lesson. If this goes on, should I just withdraw from the English subject?”
Li Li never would have thought that things would get to such a point. She looked at Zhang YanRong in disbelief as Zhang YanRong said calmly, “He was talking and affecting the discipline of the class. Was I wrong in telling him to stand outside?”
“I spoke in class?” Lu YunFei laughed coldly, “You were just looking for an excuse to punish me.”
“Teacher Li, it wasn’t just Lu YunFei,” Li YuanQing chipped in, “It was us too, we were all punished by teacher Zhang.”
“That was because you wanted to stand up for Lu YunFei. Everyone was not paying attention in class.”
“We wanted to, but first you had to teach. If you weren’t teaching then how were we supposed to listen,” He Pan muttered.
Zhang YanRong barked out a short laugh, “That was because everyone didn’t respect the class discipline by speaking and sleeping. How could I be in the mood to teach you.”
Li Li had a headache. She looked at the students in front of her and then at Zhang YanRong.
“Teacher Zhang, you could criticize or punish them if they don’t adhere to the class discipline, but you didn’t have to make them stand outside. It’s the mid-term exams soon. Their grades would be affected by this. This is irresponsible towards the students and the class, you should let them stay in the classroom next time.”
“As expected of homeroom teacher Li, you’re so kind to your students. But each teacher has their own way of teaching. You’re a Mathematics teacher, not an English teacher. Don’t involve yourself in how I teach.”
“You can put it that way,” Xiao Zhan smiled as he said, “This is considered corporal punishment, which isn’t allowed by the school. It’s a good thing that this group of students are obedient and didn’t take videos to post online, otherwise you’d likely be interviewed by reporters now.”
Lu YunFei laughed under his breath, thinking that Xiao Zhan is quite an interesting teacher. However, who said that he didn’t take videos. It was just that Zhang YanRong’s fault was solely hers, and shouldn’t involve other teachers at First High. Once the videos were up on the internet, others might jump on this to slander other teachers as well. This wasn’t something that Lu YunFei wanted to happen.
Zhang YanRong heard Xiao Zhan’s words and also scoffed casually, “Teacher Xiao Zhan, are you giving me advice, or are you giving these students ideas?”
“Of course I’m advising you. Teacher Zhang, as a teacher and senior, there’s no need for you to involve yourself in petty things with your juniors. They’ve already understood that they’re in the wrong after being made to stand outside for so many days, and wouldn’t dare to break discipline next time. Just forget it.”
Li Li added on, “Yea teacher Zhang, they already know they’re in the wrong, please forgive them.”
Zhang YanRong heard this and asked, “Oh really? Lu YunFei, do you admit that you’re in the wrong?”
This was the first time that Lu YunFei had met a teacher such as Zhang YanRong in all his years of school. He nodded, “My biggest mistake was probably to think that you were a proper teacher.”
“Me? What have I done, please tell me.”
As Zhang YanRong got infuriated and Li Li got a headache, Lu YunFei calmly continued, “Aren’t you targeting me? Sure, but leave others out of your antagonism. Don’t take your anger out on my classmates.”
“Who’s taking out their anger on your classmates!”
“Who else but you.”
The both of them started arguing in this manner.
“Ring—” The bell to signal the start of class rang. This was Li Li’s Mathematics class. Li Li pressed on Lu YunFei’s shoulder and said, “Let’s go for class first.”
Everyone followed Li Li back to the classroom. Li Li closed the classroom door and looked at her students, feeling worried.
“Have you been having problems with teacher Zhang recently?” She asked.
“A little,” someone muttered.
“It wasn’t even instigated by us, she was the one who didn’t want to teach properly, what could we do,” Li YuanQing complained.
“Yeah,” Everyone agreed, “She makes us self-study everyday. We’ve already done two days of self-study, are we still supposed to have English classes?”
“And she keeps directing her anger at us. We weren’t the ones to provoke her, what was she angry at us for.”
“Teacher, could you help us to switch English teachers please?” Someone asked.
When this request came up, it was as if it had opened up a fountain, “That’s right, teacher, could you help us find a new English teacher? We still want to have a proper class even if teacher Zhang doesn’t want to.”
Li Li never expected Zhang YanRong to have such a large conflict with the class, and replied with some difficulty, “It’s not that easy to switch teachers. Teacher Zhang has been teaching for so many years, and she’s even the English head. It’s not as easy as saying we’ll switch her.”
“But she’s bent on not teaching us, what are we supposed to do?”
“I’ll talk it over with teacher Zhang. I’d like you to also step back and don’t hold it against her. You’re students, you’re the ones who will lose out if you try to hold your anger against a teacher. Understand?”
Everyone looked at her with dissatisfied expressions, but didn’t argue against it.
After class, Li Li called Lu YunFei out and said gently, “Lu YunFei, I’ll go talk to teacher Zhang to let her conduct class properly. Please don’t be angry with her for my sake.”
Lu YunFei had never thought that the situation would advance to this stage, “I’ve never put her on my mind, it was all her doing. As long as she is willing to teach properly, I’ll not be angry with her.”
Li Li smiled, “Our student Lu YunFei is such a magnanimous and reasonable person.”
“That’s true,” Lu YunFei was not humble at all, “I’m definitely more reasonable than her.”
“Mmm, then you can go back now, study hard.”
When Lu YunFei returned, Li YuanQing saw him and asked, “What did teacher Li talk to you about?”
“Not much, it was just to say that she would talk to Zhang YanRong about conducting classes properly, and for me not to hold it against Zhang YanRong.”
Li YuanQing was speechless, “Who was holding anything against her, it was her who was picking fights with us okay?”
“Forget it, it’s fine as long as she teaches properly from now on,” Lu YunFei couldn’t be bothered with such petty fights, “I’m just worried that she would agree on the surface but hold onto other schemes internally.”
“Sigh, our luck is just that bad to have been assigned such a teacher. Annoying.”
“Don’t be annoyed,” Lu YunFei patted his shoulder and returned to his seat.
Nobody knew what had transpired between Li Li and Zhang YanRong, but the next time Zhang YanRong appeared for afternoon class, she didn’t make Lu YunFei stand outside anymore. Everyone in class one breathed out in relief, thinking that this matter had been settled and that they could finally attend class properly. But who would have expected Zhang YanRong to go through the paper for ten minutes before announcing, “That’s all for today’s lesson, it’s self-study for the rest of the period.”
Everyone looked at each other in question, and resorted to messaging each other in the class group chat.
“What’s this? We only went through two questions?”
“When is this ever going to end?”
“I’m impressed, it’s been three days! Yet we still haven’t finished going through the monthly exam! What’s the meaning of this!”
“Just what is Zhang YanRong trying to do?”
“Fuck, does she still want to be a teacher!”
“It’s going to be the mid-term exams in a few days. If she’s going to be this way, then how are we going to take the exams?”
“We’re done for, there’s still the parent-teacher meeting after the mid-term exams.”
“Fuck this, I’m fucking angry now.”
Lu YunFei read the messages in the group chat and guessed that things would likely come to this. Back when Zhang YanRong had apologised to him in front of the department head and Li Li, she had turned around to punish him by making him stand outside. Now that the entire class had made such a big fuss, how could she settle down? She would definitely want them to bow their heads in apology, to be in disgrace.
What rubbish, Lu YunFei thought vehemently.
The group chat was still a flurry of messages: What do we do now? It’s not like we can really stop having class.
“So be it, it’s not like it’s our choice.”
“Chill, Qián Fēng. We’re the ones who have to sit for the mid-term exam, not Zhang YanRong.”
“Then great, when my mum asks why I tanked my exam, I could tell her how my teacher doesn’t want to teach. Isn’t there a parent-teacher meeting after the exams? Let Zhang YanRong explain herself to the parents.”
“You’re saying this in a fit of anger, When it comes to that point, Zhang YanRong could very well turn this around, and we’ll be the ones to get scolded.”
“If only someone else could teach us.”
“Yeah, isn’t Zhang YanRong counting on us being unable to find a substitute in order to do this.”
“If we really can’t find one, then we’ll just have to self-study.”
“Jie jie, if we had the ability, why are we still attending school, we could’ve just studied at home alright?”
Li YuanQing read the messages and suddenly thought of something. He sent Lu YunFei a private message: Have you seen the group chat?
“I’ve seen it, what about it?” Lu YunFei queried.
“I suddenly had an idea that actually, if Bian JinYuan was willing, he could teach everyone.”
Lu YunFei: ???!!!
Lu YunFei thought that Li YuanQing had probably gone mad: Have you been reading too much animation and comics? Or have you been infected by Wen MingYi, being able to spout such chuunibyou nonsense!
Li YuanQing thought that his idea was extremely feasible: I’m serious. Look at the situation now, Zhang YanRong is obviously intent on depriving us of a proper education, but we still have exams to sit for. If this continues, we’re the ones to lose. Might as well ask Bian JinYuan to teach us, and after the exams, we’ll be able to request for a change of teachers at the parent-teacher meeting. If we don’t score well, we can also use it as an excuse to sell our story to get our parents to request for a change of teachers. The main thing is to kill her spirit, does she really think that we’re wholly dependent on her?
I think that you’re overthinking this. Lu YunFei looked at Li YuanQing’s message and wondered about how out of character this scenario would be, a student standing on stage to teach a class. Even though he was confident in Bian JinYuan, to this date, no one had ever attempted such a daring feat.
On the other end, the class group chat was furiously thinking of alternative situations: If we really can’t then we just have to self-study. Everyone should probably look for a private tutor, or borrow notes from another class.
The more timid students suggested: How about we apologise to teacher Zhang? If we apologise, teacher Zhang would probably resume lessons.
However soon after that message was sent, a few hotblooded boys angrily wrote: Go apologise by yourself if you want to, but we didn’t do anything wrong so we won’t.”
“That’s right, if we apologise now, does it mean that we have to apologise again the next time she gets angry? We’re here to study, not to be some punching bag.”
The boys and girls in the class expressed their fury and indignance. Apologies were out of the question, they would rather die than to apologise.
As Lu YunFei read on, he let out a sigh in defeat and asked Bian JinYuan, “Teacher Bian, are you willing to stand on a larger stage?”
Hope everyone’s well! Can’t believe we’re almost two years into the pandemic.