Teaching Mr. Bristle: Part Two
Malara arrived home that day with a ton of thoughts swimming
in her head. How am I going to fix all of the issues in this class myself?
was the most frequent one. The day had turned out nothing like she'd expected.
Her homeroom class with Mr. Bristle was a nightmare; there was only a slight possibility
she could do anything to help that class. The rest of her classes had been rather
dull by comparison, though. The students were all bored and uninterested, and
the teachers simply taught from their textbooks. The learning environment was
perfectly average. Nobody had acted up as much as they had in Mr. Bristle's room,
so at least her other teachers knew to some degree how to teach and control a
class. She decided that she would do all she could to help that poor middle aged
Gelert clean up his act.
As she stepped into her house, she immediately
heard Jared call to her from his room. "Malara, is that you?"
"Yeah," she muttered, "I'm home."
Her owner quickly marched down the stairs, still
wearing his work uniform - a plain white dress shirt, slacks, and a tie. "So
how was the big day?" he demanded eagerly.
"Well," she began, not exactly knowing what to
say. "It was...different."
"Different? How so?"
"It wasn't as much fun as I thought it would
be, and I haven't really made a good first impression on others either. In fact,
I don't think I've made an impression at all. No one noticed me, I just sat
in a corner all quiet while all the other pets socialized and seemed to know
each other already," she explained.
Jared frowned, and reached over to give Malara
a light pat on the back. "I'm sure everything will fall into place and you'll
make new friends soon, it just takes some adjustment."
"Making friends isn't the worst of my troubles
though," she told him, sighing. "My homeroom teacher Mr. Bristle is...odd. I
don't know how to explain it, but he just totally cannot control a class, or
teach for that matter."
"Teachers like that always come up," Jared reassured
Malara paused for a moment, then decided to tell
him about the little talk she had with the teacher. "I had a short discussion
with him after class, actually..." she mentioned casually.
"And...? What happened? You didn't do anything
wrong, did you?" Jared asked these questions rapidly.
"No, no, it's nothing like that," she promised
him. "I just, like, gave him some tips on how to teach the class."
"You weren't rude to him, were you?" Jared asked
"No! In fact, he was even grateful."
"Well...okay then, but how exactly did you give
a teacher tips on how to teach when you've only been to school for one
day?" he questioned.
"It wasn't exactly like that, I was explaining
something more like...social skills, you could say," she said. She could see
a puzzled expression on Jared's face, as the idea seemed increasingly ridiculous
to even herself.
"Well, it sounds like you had a pretty interesting
day, after all!" Jared exclaimed, deciding to drop the whole topic for now.
"Oh, and Dad?" the Elephante asked quietly.
"What is it?"
"He asked me if I could sort of, erm...teach
him how to be a good teacher, if that makes sense," she finally admitted.
"He what? Wow, Malara, that's quite an honor!
But I really don't understand..."
"I don't quite either," she agreed, "but he really
liked the way I told him what his weak points were, and he thinks he could learn
"A teacher wanting to learn from a student?"
Jared laughed. "Wow, that's a first!"
The next day Malara arrived in the schoolyard
early, making sure not to be late for class again. She slowly stepped through
the gate, and as classes didn't start for another fifteen minutes, she sat on
a bench, quietly. She spotted a familiar brown Grarrl, the one named Cody, jotting
something into his sketchbook while leaning against a tree. Out of curiosity,
she decided to go ahead and try to make a new friend, even if it was with one
of the troublemakers.
The Grarrl saw her approaching and raised an
eyebrow. "Can I...help you?" he asked sarcastically.
"Um, no," Malara replied awkwardly, with an uneasy
"Okay." Cody shrugged.
"So...what are you drawing there?" she asked,
trying to peer over and see what it was.
"Just a few doodles," he answered.
"Oh. Well, uh, cool!" she said, as they both
fell silent for a moment. "Um...can I ask you something?"
"Yeah, what?" he asked, rolling his eyes.
"Why do you and your friends disrupt the class
so much?" she asked calmly, once again able to not sound annoying with her unique
Cody shrugged. "For fun, I guess? There's nothing
else to do, and that teacher doesn't know what he's doing, so we might as well
take advantage of the free time!"
"But do you think...do you think if he was better
at communicating with us that we could maybe have a fun class with him?"
"Sure, like that'll ever happen," he snorted.
"But yeah, I suppose so."
Suddenly, the green Techo from the day before
fell onto the ground from behind the tree right in front of Malara's feet. She
yelped in shock for just a moment, then regained her composure.
"Don't mind Brick," Cody told her, "he's always
Malara laughed nervously. This crowd isn't
so bad after all, is it? she asked herself silently.
It was just about then that a few other pets
had shown up, including Garfy, the purple Wocky that had been hanging out with
Brick and Cody during homeroom.
"Hey guys," he said cooly, "what's going on?"
He turned to Malara. "Who are you? I've never seen you before in my life!"
"Garfy, chill, this is, um..." He turned to the
Elephante, realizing he didn't know her name yet.
"I'm Malara," she informed them, "it's nice to
meet you all."
Garfy snickered. "Yeah, it's a great pleasure
to meet us. We're the nicest people in the world, you know." Cody laughed, and
soon Malara began laughing along with him too. Brick, of course, was asleep
this entire time.
The bell for homeroom rang, and all of the pets
walked sluggishly into the school, moping. Malara stayed with her unexpected
newfound friends as they advanced on into the classroom, where Mr. Bristle was
once again sitting at his disorganized desk, biting his nails leisurely. Malara
nodded to him as they walked in, but he frowned at the fact that she was hanging
around the 'bad' crowd. She left the gang but for a second to go up to him and
whisper, "Remember, public speaking skills! You want to obtain at least some
control over the class!"
"Dude," Cody said to the Elephante as she turned
around and took a seat next to Brick, "why were you talking with the teacher?
That's so uncool."
"He's not that bad, guys," she said. "Can we
please all just give him a chance?"
Garfy blinked. "Why? He's totally lame."
"Well...I'm going to at least try and make him
un-lame," she announced.
"Ha, good luck with that," Cody told her with
The second bell rang, which meant it was time
for class to start. "Good morning, class!" Mr. Bristle shouted cheerfully, trying
his best to be a good public speaker.
Nothing came in response except for an exuberant
"Good morning, Mr. Bristle!" from Malara, and the sound of Brick snoring.
"I thought today we could get started on our-"
the Gelert began.
Cody raised his hand.
"Yes? Um, Cody?" he asked, pointing to the Grarrl.
"What are we going to do in this class?" he asked
"I thought today we could learn how to write
"Sounds exciting," Garfy interrupted, yawning.
Malara shot them both a meaningful, unhappy look.
"Guys, please let the poor guy teach! He's just trying to do his job here, and
you two aren't helping," she whispered angrily.
"Okay, Mom," Cody said, rolling his eyes.
"So anyway, students! Pay attention!" the teacher
called. But most of the students were still busy working on other things, not
paying attention to him at all. Who cared about this silly homeroom class anyway,
right? Malara sighed and shook her head. Mr. Bristle was going to need a lot
more help with his teaching skills than Malara had thought, and she knew that
she was the one who had to do it, as no one else could rise to the occasion.
Once again, the teacher simply went back to his
desk and covered his bloodshot eyes with his paws, waiting for the half an hour
long class to end and for all of these dreaded students to leave. The minutes
passed, and all of the students except Malara continued to goof off. She tried
getting Cody and Garfy to stop playing around, but they simply chuckled and
asked her to join in on the fun of having a clueless teacher. She shook her
head in refusal and suddenly got up, walking towards Mr. Bristle's desk.
"Mr. Bristle, the class can't stay like this
for the rest of the year!" she reminded him.
"I know, I know...but what can I do about it?"
He sighed, slumping in his chair.
"I think it's about time I start giving you those
classes we talked about," she declared, grabbing a slip of paper to jot her
home address down.
To be continued...