Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday Mayhem Recap

If my school was a human body, and the outside world was fun and freedom, then Fridays would be the hockey puck of impacted fecal matter painfully preventing my escape. Sure, I finally get to leave school and go have fun, but not without a significant amount of pain, screaming, and blood.

My first class is six students, half girls and half boys, all about 6 years old. In a shocking about-face relative to all my other classes, the boys are stellar students, and the girls act like criminals who huff a lot of gas on the side. They generally just wander around staring at the ceiling, like zombies in Hello Kitty sweatshirts. Sometimes I yell at them, but I don't think my presence in the room ever completely penetrates the foggy haze of their perception, so most of the time I just let them do their thing.

My second class is all girls. Their problem is that they're too goddamn smart. They all prepare very thoroughly before class, and essentially know the material before they set foot in the classroom. So it's like if someone would make you go to a classroom and really slowly learn how to count to 10. Would you pay attention, or would you be a band of shrieking harpies for 50 minutes? I think you know the answer. I honestly can't really blame them for being bad. It takes a lot of the pressure off me--they just teach themselves, and if I fail in some aspect of the presentation, it really doesn't matter. Any way you slice it, I have to teach the material and they have to sit in the classroom for an hour, but it's pretty much a symbolic ritual with these maniacal super-geniuses.

My third class is pretty unholy in a bunch of different ways. The class is huge, the kids are insane, and we always have a huge amount of material to cover. Today, I tried to start teaching when I noticed one kid was wandering around covered in blood. He took an accidental elbow to the nose and was gushing all over the place. So we take him out and shove gauze into his nostrils. Meanwhile, another little girl has decided that her head hurts, as it does EVERY week, so she has to go get a drink of water. While I'm distracted by her, another kid lurks behind me and jams his fingers in my ass. I've literally started to unconsciously position myself with my ass against the wall in regular social situations because of this kid. My body just goes into auto-ass-protection mode now.

Against all odds, we always make it through the material in all the classes, the kids learn, and even have fun. The problem is not successfully executing, the problem is the amount of energy this level of intensity steals from my very soul. I come home from work on Fridays a shattered man.

Teaching children makes you old before your time. They are legion, and they are relentless, and they want to run around like little maniacs. So you dispatch of one group, they leave, and along comes the next group, fresh from their nap and ready to be bastards for an hour of time in which you are expected to cram information into their unwilling little heads.

2 comments:

Dean said...

Nate,

I am Dean. A Graduate of the first class of teachers of the infamous Frost English School of Mutsu (1983). I have enjoyed reading your blog since my wife introduced me to it. Natsukashii!

Nate said...

Thanks for the kind words, and for boosting my confirmed non friend/family reader count up to 3! Woo-hoo!