f*cking teaching

Atrophied Teacher

…At this point I was determined to try teaching again.  There was no way a bunch of fourth graders could really run me out of my destiny.  In college, I had been on the Dean’s List every semester for Christ’s sake.  I got a job at Janice Joplin Public Charter School in South East, Washington DC right near the Barry Farms projects.  The head of school hired me five minutes into the interview.  I thought it was because of the Teach for America nod I refused to take off my resume. 

I will never forget his name.  Greggy McDonald.  I told Greggy that he would not be getting any snack that day because he hit one of his classmates.  Yes, withholding snack was one of the brilliant punishments I learned about at JJPCS.  I also learned about novice restraint tactics which I attempted to use on Greggy after he heaved a chair in the air and slung it in my direction.  He really wanted snack. Duh. Might have had something to do with the circumstances that qualified him for free lunch.  As it sailed through the air, the leg of the chair put a gash in my head just above my temple.  I didn’t know I was bleeding so I tried to smother Greggy’s rage with all four of my appendages wrapped around him in an awkward bear hug.  Greggy’s anger would not recede, instead it empowered him.  As if he had no extra weight holding him down we banged into the lockers behind us, against desks that toppled over, and then back into the lockers.  That was the first moment I thought that teaching might not be for me, just as the blood started to drip into my eye.  But then I thought, what if I go to the best charter school in DC…



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