Teaching Techniques

10 Dec

The kids are so loud. It’s as if their volume increases exponentially as more of them enter the room. It makes no sense to me and I hate them.

“Quiet!” I yell, a bit frightened by how soft my yell seems amid the talking and yelling and singing and screaming of the children. “Quiet!” I yell again, this time louder. The noise softens, but only a little. I take two small objects out of my pocket. “Please be quiet!” I plead. I put the two objects on either side of my mouth and bite down. Fake blood pours out of my mouth and I begin to gargle and strain, my face turning a disturbing shade of purple. I fall to the ground and clutch my chest.

Some of the children begin to cry and call out for help, but none are talking. I open my eyes for a moment and point to the worst of my students and, foamy blood pouring from the corners of my mouth, utter the words “Your fault.” He breaks into violent tears. Slowly I lower my head to the cool tile and close my eyes, my body becoming completely still.

The room is full of soft tears and I can almost hear the children developing trust issues.

Sounds like softness.

Sounds like calm.

I stand up abruptly. Several of the children begin to scream.

“Okay. So, let’s get started on the day’s lesson,” I say, wiping the blood from my mouth.

My supervisor is coming today. I’ve already been docked on my evaluation for how I communicate with the children (I refuse to call a child “buddy” or “sweetheart” when he refuses to stop simulating fellatio in front of the class), so I’m a bit nervous about his observing me.

I’m afraid one of my kids is going to start misbehaving, then when I try to politely ask them to stop they will (as they almost always do) outright ignore me.

I stand before the class as I do every day before we begin. I like to give them a rundown of the schedule so they know what to expect. It just cuts down on instances of the “What are we doing today?” question.

“1,2,3, eyes on me!” I say, holding up my hand. Half of the kids turn and look the other half continue as they were before–talking, laughing, being disrespectful little shits who slowly but surely destroy my spirit every time I see them.

I feel the cold, sticky masses on my stomach and the sensation is like the comforting embrace of an old friend in times of struggle. I lift my shirt, revealing the dozen or so chicken bones peeking out from behind my waist band. The children are baffled and frightened and, most importantly, quieted by the image.

“Okay, class, so this is what we’re going to do today,” I begin. I bend my arms to a right angle, then gyrate a little bit, still holding my shirt up, further upsetting the youths. “We’re going to to a little game to demonstrate what weight and volume are, then we’re going to do some homework.” I turn to Efrain Gomez, one of my worst students. One of the few students who I believe actively seeks to do evil. I pull a photograph from my pocket that I found in his file. I show it to the class, then wad it into a ball and eat it. There are gasps and I hear Efrain ask his friends in Spanish what the gesture means. I continue speaking. “Then finally, we’re going to do a little enrichment activity and go home!”

I pull my shirt down and hear a knock at the door. It’s my supervisor.

“Oh, hello!” I say. The room is completely silent.

“Wow, it’s really quiet in there. Good job,” my supervisor says.

“Yes,” I respond, smiling. “They’re all acting like perfect angels.” I turn so my back faces my supervisor and pat the spot on my stomach where the bones.


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