I hurried to my car in the early morning darkness, determined to arrive at school on time. I spotted the spider web right before I walked through it, feeling web on my face and tangled in my hair. A large bodied brown spider hung over my head.
Five kids wandered aimlessly around the classroom, right in the middle of my "lesson".
"Have a seat, Nina, have a seat Javon...look you are not spending another whole class playing with the pencil sharpener.....hey...Aiden....."
"Give it to me!" Abe shrieked, "Give me my pencil!"
"It doesn't belong over here!" Yusuf yelled back, crossing the room to stand in front of Abe. A physical tussle over a fucking pencil was beginning. Nina and Javon continued wandering around as another kid got up.
"What a douche!" one of the fourth graders exclaimed.
I looked up to see the principal standing in the doorway, a concerned look on his face. My class was completely out of control.
An incredibly loud gigantic fart ripped out of one of the students. All of the kids started howling and pulling their shirts over their faces.
This was exactly the image I wanted in my boss's mind of my teaching style and classroom atmosphere.
I roamed through the school, entering and exiting various classrooms to teach my class, inadvertently itching myself all over whenever the big brown spider entered my mind. I saw the tough little boy from the crazy class standing in the hallway, his face as adult and serious as always, but something was different in the eyes. I've noticed he wears the same clothes everyday.
"Hey Tyrone, are you okay?" I asked.
"Yeah, no yeah, yeah, yeah...." he responded.
"Um, okay....but really, what's wrong?"
"I'm embarrassed....about class...." he responded, his eyes getting a little wetter.
"Oh God, about what happened? Really, I have fifth graders that do it on purpose and are proud of it! These kids will forget about it in an hour, really...".
"Give yourself a check." I commanded the boy that was spanking his own ass in the middle of my lesson. He had simulated taking an actual shit in my last class. I have to admit that I am curious about what else he might do with his butt next time.
I continued wandering the school, scratching even my ankles now.
"It smells horrible in here!" I heard a teacher yell at her class.
"Line up for a bathroom break, it smells like somebody needs it!".
I headed down to my stairwell to monitor dismissal, my daily work duty. I was relieved to be able to scratch at will. The large headed boy skipped down the stairs, came within an inch of my face to tell me goodbye and continued on his way. Bailey gave me a boyish goodbye after explaining the war game he intended to play at his afternoon camp. The river of kids continued for about twenty minutes.
"Adios Tyrone" I called as he slid down the stairs.
"You have a good weekend" he instructed with a little head nod and brief eye contact. I think I saw the corners of his mouth move upward, just slightly.
Saturday, September 13, 2014
"Okay, I need to have the fart conversation with you," I announced after several proudly laid, smelly noisy farts by some of the boys in the class. One of them was hunching over his chair, imitating taking an actual shit.
"At some point, probably soon, you are going to start thinking the girls around you that you have known your whole life are kind of cute...."
"That's already happening" a little ginger boy growled lowly.
"This is a small community. You are going to be around these same girls probably until twelfth grade. When the time comes that you want to ask one of them to walk around the square, go to Chick Fil-A, whatever, the last thing you want to flash through their mind is an image of you, hunched over a chair pretending it is a toilet or remembering the noisy farts you let out in fifth grade. Ladies, am I right?"
The girls nodded emphatically.
"Okay. Chicos, what has been seen cannot be unseen and females have long memories. Please think about that before you proudly let out a noisy fart that burns our noses off or replicate a fart by putting your hand in your arm pit, which is gross and unsanitary".
It was dusk. I sat at my kitchen table with my distressed neighbor. The man that she had just had an altercation with was standing outside of our fence peering through it, about four feet from the window. Fucking creeper, and the second time in a matter of weeks. I grabbed another beer.
The small, quiet fourth grader raised her hand.
"The skin is peeling off of my scalp....I think that is why I feel weak"
"Whaaa, what's happening?"
She repeated herself. I could feel a little bit of throw up climbing my throat. What is wrong with ordinary scrapes and bruises?
The bell rang to end the school day, the last before our first week long vacation. Kids were tearing out of the building as if they were on fire. Disneyland, beaches and Europe awaited them. I smiled. I couldn't wait to hear the tales the little motherfuckers would bring back with them.
Friday, September 12, 2014
"Not as mean as me" he responded, trudging down the stairs with a serious look on his face. A crying girl followed him.
I like my job. I like where I work. But these new state mandated pre-tests are turning me into a fucking raging bitch. I'm like Jekyll and Hyde. The kids are looking at me, wondering where this new mean Spanish teacher came from.
"When piranhas bite your private parts!" I looked up from my grading toward the hall. I had never heard anything rhyme with that before.
I walked outside to my next class.
"It's a pre-test! It doesn't mean anything!" I overheard another teacher barking at small group of kids.
"I saw a bad word written on a piece of paper today" announced a kid that has befriended me, eyes widening.
"Really?" I answered, imaging this word was 'poop' or 'butt hole' or something equally offensive.
He looked around suspiciously, then leaned closer to me.
Jesus. That is a word.
I received a note from a 'secret admirer' stating that I am the 'best Spanish teacher in the business'. I got another little note today, applauding me for being 'caring' and making Spanish fun. I suspect it is the child with the big head writing these clandestine messages, or some other strange creature. I don't care. I carry them around in my wallet and pull them out to re-read several times a day.
I piled my stuff into my school bag to head out.
"Oh man, I have to go to the variance meeting tonight about some construction plans my neighbors have...." I mentioned off hand to a co-worker, grimacing.
"Oh! I know what you should say to them! 'I hate you, you hate me, you're a big fat bitch, hate your bitch family, MOTHER FUCKER!'" she sang triumphantly.
"I learned that from a piece of paper I found at school today!" she added, smiling merrily.
Kids these days.