I gave a child a black eye today.
I haven’t exactly been the world’s best teacher this week. I’m going to blame the yellow dust, which has started drifting in again and making us all cough and sneeze. I’m tired and a little under the weather, a combination which maketh not a good teacher.
Teacher, look! Teacher, here! Teacher, finished! Teacher, me! Teacher, help! Teacher, teacher, teacher!
It’s constant, all of a sudden. It’s probably always that way but I only really notice it when I’m too tired and cranky to deal with it. Shut up, shut up, shut up! I want to respond, but settle instead for pleading with them to just raise their hands. Not that they do.
Go to your chairs and sit down! I instruct them as we finish an action activity and I bend down to tidy away some materials. Perhaps it is silly of me to expect them all to follow this instruction, and so I should not whirl around and stand up at the speed I now do. Because of COURSE there will be a small child standing right behind me, sticking out his tongue to show me some invisible mark or mouth ulcer or something.
CRACK! Our foreheads meet with horrendous-sounding force, and I stagger back clutching my head while the boy practically flies through the air in slow motion. He picks himself up quickly, looking dazed and wondering whether or not to cry. Instead, he chooses to gaze at me with melting brown eyes that stare reproachfully into my soul. How could you hurt me like this? ask The Eyes, one of which is now surrounded by an increasingly red patch of skin.
[If there is any worse feeling, it can only be the one you get when you stand on a puppy’s paw and he makes that pitiful little squealing, whimpering noise. ]
I keep a close watch on him throughout the remainder of class, noting with mounting horror that the skin around his eye is now going purple. He seems as right as rain, but occasionally he rubs his eye in that dazed manner and fixes me with the guilt-inducing gaze again. After class, I make my way to the office to report the incident to the director. She meets me at the door. Who gave Ben the black eye? she asks sternly, in a “woe betide them” sort of voice. Oh, help.
I did, I confess.
I think I might have detention.