house of happy

Life adventures in prose and verse. Explorations of places, people and words. Stories and fun.

Friday, 23 March 2012

44 days, 23

Yesterday I taught a couple of classes for a teacher friend. Smaller children, but they beat me hands down! By the end of two hours my energy levels were lower than those of a squeezed lemon. I dragged myself to the car and drove off,still shaking. 'Most of the kids were OK' I kept repeating, the demented mantra of someone going into shock.

Having put a night and a day between myself and the school, I can start seeing the good moments, the lovely kids. In the event, one hardly ever sees the sweet, well-behaved little darlings, too busy putting out fires.

Oh, the 'challenging kids'. I had two – or three, or four – in one of the groups (the other group was a breeze in comparison). This gang kept the noise level constant (i.e. deafening), listened to nothing, wouldn't participate, and went to the loo about 17 times each. I have no idea how they kept it up (and that after a whole day of school); two had a few mini-fights, a 'toss-the-pencil-case' game, a 'grab-the-pencil-case' grapple which ended in pens and pencil shavings all over the floor, a few extra-loud screams and a couple of fake tears.

One never stopped moving, systematically stole the possessions of whomever went to the toilet, lay on the carpet, stood on his chair, took off his shoes, screamed when the class was singing and performed a few fancy experiments (including one which attempted to ascertain the exact length of a pencil that can go up his own nose). He didn't respond well to being stopped from poking his brains out with an HB1 medium lead. I imagine his parents weep when the bell rings for summer holiday...

Another kid displayed an unusual capacity of talking above the ambient noise in the squeakiest voice you can imagine (times two!) - a high-pitched commentary that is now drilled into my memory like a laser burn. I can safely say that it has stormed into first place on my life-threatening-noises chart , way ahead of chalk-on-the-blackboard and nails-on-marble.

At some point, he had to glue pictures of fruit and vegetables on a sheet, the ones he liked on the left, the ones he didn't like on the right. He sailed through the favourites, then turned his attention to the right side of the page.
'Tomatoes', he announced loudly, glueing his paper tomato there.
'Well done', says I.
'Mayonnaise', he continued in a eardrum-piercing shriek, and drew a jar.
'But is that a fruit or vegetable?' In reply I got an even louder statement:
'I don't like mayonnaise'.
'OK buddy, if you say so...'
There was more to come. He drew a few squiggles, looking remotely like a sheep... or, could it be, a cauliflower?? Great I thought, we're back on track, but then he slashed at the paper beneath the cauliflower with long sharp lines that chilled the soul. And he roared:
'I - slash - DON'T - slash, slash - LIKE - slash, slash, slash - RAIN'.


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