The strange teacher who didn’t like his pupils

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Story File


Love and forgiveness

Main Lesson

Love is the most powerful force to change people


A school in a small town


A teacher and his pupils

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The strange teacher who didn’t like his pupils

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Un cuento de maestros sobre el cariño en el aula

Once upon a time, there was a nasty thief who was on the run from the police. He arrived in a small town called Seitsaneruc, where he hid his stolen goods and pretended to be the new teacher and started to teach classes under the name Mr Pepo.

Because he was so nasty, he shouted at the children a lot and was always in a foul mood. He always told the children off and you could tell that he did not like them one bit. At the end of the day, his pupils would rush off in a hurry. Until one day, instead of leaving, Paul - one of the smallest pupils - stayed behind and just stared at Mr Pepo in silence. He then pulled up a chair and stood on it. The teacher moved nearer to yell at him but, before reaching him, little Paul jumped up and clung to his neck, giving him a big hug. He then gave him a kiss and ran off, just like that, without giving time for the nasty teacher to get over his surprise!

From that day on, little Paul used any distraction to give the teacher an unexpected hug and run off before he could catch him. At first, this really annoyed the nasty teacher but soon it seemed as though he began to like it. One day the teacher managed to catch him, and he asked why he was doing it:

‘I think you are so mean because you have never been loved. I am going to love you, so you get better, even if you don’t like it.

The teacher pretended to be angry, but deep down he liked that the boy loved him so much. Each time, he let himself be hugged more easily and he seemed less grumpy. Until one day when he saw that one of the boys was very sad and quiet for a few days, the teacher decided to make his day by giving him a big hug.

Just then, everyone in the school began to clap and cheer.

‘Mr Pepo has become nice! He loves the kids now!’

And everyone hugged him and celebrated. Mr Pepo was as surprised as he was happy.
‘Would you like to stay and teach us forever?’

Mr Pepo said he would, although he knew that when he got found out he’d have to go on the run again. But then some police officers turned up with little Paul, who was carrying the things Mr Pepo had stolen.

‘Don’t be afraid, Mr Pepo. We already know you regret what you did and are going to return all of this. You can stay here at the school because, now that you love the children, we know you’re cured.’

Mr Pepo could not believe it. Everyone in the town had known from the beginning that he was a thief and had been trying to help him become good. He decided to stay and live there to help others turn their lives around, just as they had done for him. And so, looking back, Mr Pepo finally understood the very strange name of the very special town, and he thought it was very fitting.

Translated by Jenna Bottomley and Sam Roscoe, Manchester Metropolitan University

Let's work on this story, now that is fresh on our minds!

A minute for thinking

Do you like to feel loved? How do you think people who have no one to love feel? Do you show your love to the people around you, like friends and family? Have you ever thought that maybe someone wants a hug but they are too shy to ask? Has this ever happened to you?

Let's talk!

Tell your child about a personal experience where lack of affection caused you to become angry and upset. Explain what the consequences were or how you dealt with it. Also, tell your child about a time when the support and love of others helped you to do your best.

Why don't you try this?

Let’s prepare a plan for when someone gets angry or in a bad mood. Make a thief’s mask with some black cloth and leave it in an easy-to-see place. Whenever someone in your family is very cross, put the mask on and give them a big hug as a surprise. That way they will remember you love them very much and it will be easier for them to cheer up.

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