Friday, April 08, 2005

Murder One

For those of you who haven't figured it out, I spend my time in this corporal form employed as an elementary school teacher. I teach visual arts and creative writing to 220+ little human reprobates in a low-income, inner-city school. Yes, I'm aware I'm sadistic, but I like to think I'm having some small impact on the world I inhabit.

On Wednesday, the principal called me into a meeting to tell me that the director of fine arts for the entire district had chosen to visit my classroom on Friday. So I dutifully cleaned from top to bottom, threw away a large accumulation of "found objects," and climbed the rafters to hang beautiful crape-paper creations designed by Kindergarteners. My room was spotless. The custodian heard this "big man" was coming and also stayed late cleaning my room. She scrubbed every last bit of glue off of the tables and made my sink look like it was installed yesterday instead of being a catch-all for dripping pie-plates of paint on a daily basis. My lesson plans were perfect, my gradebook was in order, everything was perfect.

So this morning, the guy arrived, fashionably late, so as to be here for the last 10 minutes of my planning period and to keep my fourth graders lined up impatiently in the hall. He was nice, the meeting went well, then I heard the kids calling my name loudly from the hall. They NEVER do this. In fact, I usually have the best line on the hall because I threaten to EAT small children who embarass me in public. So I excused myself, hoping this guy has heard none of the commotion, and went out to investigate, wearing my best "shut up or die" face. I discover two kids in a fight. Again, this NEVER happens.

One little girl was bawling and holding her arm, where my mentally challenged student had slugged the ever-lovin' crap outta her. "She was skipping, she was skipping!" he yelled. So while I'm separating the two, trying to look at injuries, trying to calm down the hostile little fireball, the injured girl's best friend pops out with a juvenile insult aimed at the agressor. "I'm NOT a turkey-face! I'm not a turkey-face!" he screamed and started bawling.

So now I've got two kids bawling, everyone trying to shout out to me what they saw and heard, and then two more boys got into it and began pushing and shoving over a dollar. I confiscated the dollar, and ordered the children to get inside the room and take out a book while I sorted everything out. For icing on the cake, the challenged little boy then stood up and screamed, "ASSHOLES! You're all ASSHOLES!" I sent him to the office. I put a cold cloth on the drama queen's unbrusied and unscratched arm. I asked about the dollar and discovered it was extorted from another kid in order to gain the opportunity of being in my class. (A teacher was out, so we split up her kids; they all want to come to art.) I put the dollar in an envelope and told them that whoever really owned the dollar could later go and explain how I got their dollar to the principal who would be holding it. I expect my principal got a $1 tip today...though I swear I'm the one who deserved it.

After all the turmoil was quieted, and the students were finally allowed to get out their art supplies, I looked over to find my evaluator having a great time at my expense. At least I provided him some comedy. Plus, he got to see a side of me the kids NEVER see...the "sit down or it's gonna be murder one" side.



Blogger Azathoth said...

Heh Heh Heh. I've always said the best thing about kids is the ability to give them back to thier parents when they start acting up. While I do love my nieces and nephews and all of my friends kids, I also love going to bed at night in peace and quiet. Remember, they're small so if you have to kill one thier bodies are not too hard to hide....

7:03 PM  
Blogger Ari said...

I have to say, the next time the ol' ISD screeches about budget cuts, you need to email somebody up there this blogpost with the title "Why I Am Indispensable."


7:39 PM  
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