This kid was sitting in my room, I realized it was his lunch time. “Aren’t you supposed to be somewhere?” I said.
New teacher to the school, here is a list of things I didn’t know this morning:
- If not going to the cafeteria during lunch is a punishable offense.
- How to print anything.
- How to make my fancy Prometheus board do anything, up to and including getting fire from the gods.
- Where on earth yesterday’s attendance sheets were.
- If Baz Luhrmann, bless his heart, was going save my life again with his version of “Romeo & Juliet” that could entrance anyone, anyone.
- How many kids were going to show up today without anything to write with.
- Really, any of my students’ names. Well, I might know like five of them.
- What I did with the 8th period assignments from yesterday.
- How many kids were going to say, “I already read Romeo & Juliet!”
- How quickly the kid who was nasty to me in the morning would change to a mild-mannered sort when asked, in the afternoon, what kind of candy she liked best.
- That one class finds stickers insultingly “babyish,” and another is quite satisfied with them.
- That a pen could get caught under the classroom door, and when a kid and I would try to free it, we would break it instead.
- How many kids, when offered the opportunity to ask me anything, would say, “How old are you?”
There were two moments today I really lost it.
The first time, there was another adult in the room, and I walked right over and said, “What do you think I should do?” I don’t know if that was the right thing, or if that made me look bad, but I’ve wasted enough of my life being too proud to ask for help.
The second time, I walked around the room for a bit, pretending to be checking kids’ work, in reality completely out of hope. While I was walking, I found a few kids were working and appreciated attention and help. I went to get the Starbursts– our currency of choice– and handed out a few to those kids.
“Aren’t you supposed to be somewhere?”
I bought the big box of golf pencils I knew I would need, and the ocean-scented air freshener, the scent my 7th period class chose, over Flowers or Xmas. And some of those fancy wipes to clean things to keep us from giving each other the flu, since we’re in, for the winter, where we are, where, let’s say, we’re supposed to be.
Note: Luhrmann came through again.
Image: Hercules or Atlas Supporting the Globe, possibly by Clodion, Metropolitan Museum of Art