Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Recess Sucks

My pal Margie is hosting this contest in which we write about why recess sucks, and I've not been able to think of anything else, since. Check out her blog (Spin me write round) and enter the contest your self!

A disclaimer. I am not a soul-less child eater as this story may entail. I was merely trying to convey my frustrations at the moment. I love kids. Especially the well behaved kind.



I escort the kids outside, dreading being on recess duty. But I’m the T.A. I get the crappy work.

It’s Joey’s first recess in weeks. No punishment or discipline can get through to that kids oversized melon. He doesn’t care. Every day he starts with a clean slate. Five chances before he loses recess privileges. Five chances is four too many. That kid should be cleaning out the urinals with a toothbrush. At least I wouldn’t have to chase him around the class room everyday so my teacher can teach. Is it legal to tranquilize a student during school hours? Not anything lethal, just a small dose of sedatives is all I’m asking for.

I shake away the un-teacherly thoughts as I enter the bright playground, and wrap my arms around myself. Why did I wear a skirt today? The wind whooshes up me and I have to dance around. I congregate with the other TAs to a spot where we can keep a watchful eye on the kids, while staying out of sight.

The bell finally rings and our classes line up with us. Suzy tattle tale informs me that Joey hasn’t lined up yet. The other TA walks my class in while I deal with Joey. It’s me, him and a tall twisty playground. I’m an adult, I should be able to handle this third grader just fine, right? Wrong. As soon as I tell him to come inside, he bolts up the playground and balls himself up on the top of the monkey bars. The only way to get him down is by yanking on his dangling leg. It’s not too far of a drop, he wouldn’t get hurt too badly. No, I push the thought away. I’m not allowed to touch the kids.

He likes the chase. He teases and runs away from me, staying just out of my reach. My face gets redder and he laughs. The more I yell, the further up the playground he climbs. I threaten to call his Mom or his Dad. But that has no affect. Those push over parents bow down to this child like he’s the queen of hearts and his tantrums alone could make their heads roll. I threaten to call his babysitter, the one person who has any control over the creature—I mean child. I can see I’ve hit my mark. Joey starts to climb down.

I laugh within myself. I’ve done it! I’ve conquered the beast. I imagine dragging him into school by the earlobe, whacking him a few times with a yards stick and placing the dunce hat on his head. Where did the old fashioned punishments go? Kids wouldn’t be so out of control if they had to answer to a stuffy teacher with a bad hair-do and a yard stick.

But I am wrong. Oh so wrong.

Joey bolts!

All the energy he’s built up over weeks of no recess comes bursting out of his little legs. He heads for the fence. I yell and chase after him—stupid skirt! I can’t keep up! Joey reaches the fence and starts to climb. A busy street and wide open world waits for him beyond the chain link. He’s now a danger to himself.

Just before Joey reaches the top of the fence, I grab him by the back of the shirt, and yank him down. Stifling my desire to body slam him to the ground like an overpaid wrestler, I place him on his feet. With a firm hand gripped on his arm, and one on his back, I walk him to the principal’s office. I ignore his pleading and his meaningless apologies.

I say nothing.

Recess sucks.

I leave Joey in the hands of our principal, whose chair is all too familiar with Joey backside.

That night, I officially make the decision that I’ve been struggling with for weeks.

I am definitely not cut out to be a teacher.


Laura said...

Not on the subject, but wow, what a gorgeous backdrop to your blog!!!

Write Chick said... it! The bolting child is a classic recess moment. Thanks for entering! Now I see why you say you never want to be a teacher. :-)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Awesome! I love this!

Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday. I love making new bloggy friends. :-)