Friday, May 15, 2015


The last week of the school year is not my favorite week. I’m not saying I’m not looking forward to the break, but the last week kind of scares the shit out of me. There are so many, many, many things that can happen that week, and most of those things do not involve smiles. And this is the last week of the school year for me.

One of the problems is that everybody knows it’s the last week. Teachers are high-fiving like a bunch of 15 year olds who just scored some Olde English. They’re all thinking, “Yeah, last week of school. I am soooo ready for this.”  That’s flawed reasoning right there, because if we realize it, so do the kids. And if they realize it, that means they are also high-fiving, mainly because they are a bunch of 15 year olds who just probably scored some Olde English.  Luckily, I teach the littles, 2-4th grade, who are all high-fiving because they scored some juice boxes. But they too can sense the end of the year, like those weird horses who can tell when an earthquake is about to happen. (I happen to think they’re just lucky.)

This will be a deliberately painful stampede.
To me it feels like a herd of cattle on the verge of a stampede. The students and I are both uneasily eyeing the doorway periodically throughout the day, as if someone’s going to bolt. I know if they stampede, I can’t stop them. I’m worried that something might spook them. And it could be anything, like a bee or the sudden slamming of a door. I usually like to sneak up behind a student and startle them. But not this week. That could cause a chaos I wouldn’t enjoy.  

Maybe they're just planning a take-over.
I also worry about one of the students breaking free; finally snapping from the pressure she’s endured throughout the year. And if she breaks, the rest will follow. I doubt any would look back to see if anyone else was breaking with them. They would be halfway home before I cautiously peeked out from behind the book cabinet. I have fortified a space only I am aware of.

Then there would have to be some sort of explanation to the principal. I have found that on average, a principal will not take a shoulder shrug as an answer to a direct question. In fact, more times than not they seem to hate it. And they love to ask questions. “Why was that kid wearing a bucket on his head?” “Who gave that student a stapler and a tube of super-glue?” These are perfect examples of where a shoulder shrug should suffice. Apparently not. 

After that, parents. 
Me: Mrs. Smith. Yes, I’m calling to inform you that your child has just ran out of the school, evidently with a bunch of other confused and frightened children. 
Mrs. Smith: WTF?
Me: I don’t know. 
Mrs. Smith: Seriously, WTF?
Me: SeriouslyI don’t know.  
A shoulder shrug doesn’t have much of an effect while on the phone.

So while I am holding out hope for this week, I’m also trying to be realistic. I will try to keep the same routine to our day as to not provoke any suspicions. And I will not be wearing my spurs just to be on the safe side.

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