It happened as quickly as an ’80s movie montage plot summary. The important events and interactions segued into one another easily. The heroine-me-moved on to her grown-up plans.
*College Recruiter Interview*
*Video Interview at Central Office*
*Knocking on Doors at Every Middle School in the District*
*Job Offer at the Last School on the List*
And just like that, I was a teacher. Instead of the struggle to find my first real job defining my whole movie, it was just the opening credits. The real struggle was going to be that ‘being a master teacher’ thing. I entered the profession with the goal of awarding knowledge daily and changing lives forever. After the first few months, I just wanted to be proficient.
My best knowledge gifts that first year? Well, let’s see, maybe it was the time I taught them to keep an unfortunate incident a secret for their teacher?
See, I had this student, oh, let’s call him Damien, who was a fantastic learning experience for my first year. He had social issues beyond the normal ones of 12 year-old boys in constant contact with girls. He was also too smart for us normal folk but too lazy to try harder. His parents saw no reason for the myriad interventions the school had to offer and instead wanted us to just roll with it.
So I rolled until one day I couldn’t anymore. I sent dear Damien to the office. That’s all. I may have also thrown a pen at my desk which was unfortunately in his general direction. I did not pelt him with the pen nor did I intend to. (I hit my targets.) It was still inappropriate. Yet, the minute he was out of the room, the rest of the class seemed to forget it all. They were so happy to have peace and quiet and, dare I say, the chance to learn their verb tenses. They liked to say, “What pen?” every now and then to make me laugh. It was likewise a constant reminder of my failure to do the right thing in a tough situation.
In fact, none of that movie went according to script. Dear God, it was like the director couldn’t read a damn thing I had written. Instead of being about the gifted teacher changing lives with proper grammar and love of literature, the story was about a girl with a talent she couldn’t quite put to good use.
I was exhausted when that year ended. Every day was a new lesson for me, not the kids. I prayed with all my might that those kids would get fabulous English teachers the rest of the way.
There were many sequels. Some were great, and some went straight to video. The director eventually made a movie about a pretty decent educator. It was energizing; I’m hoping to see it again.
Please follow the link to Yeah Write to read some other inspired posts by writers stretching their skills this summer.