I can spot a teacher from a mile away. They usually drive Priuses or Honda Rav-4s. They’re timid outside of their classrooms, but inside, they have the power. This increases their enormous egos and stokes their relentless insecurities. It was my job to escort our students to class and wait for them to blow up.
“Jason, join the others at the table,” Miss Shimazoo said.
“I don’t want to.” He looked at me with an angry smile and ran. I got up slowly and walked to the door. I knew most of the fun for him was in the chase, so I decided not to.
“Can I talk to you Mr. Johnson?” Miss Shimazoo said.
“You really need to control his behavior.”
“Kids are going to do whatever they will do,” I said.
“That’s not true!”
“I’ve got to go.” And sure enough, Jason was waiting for me at the end of the hall. He ran up the stairs and into the EBD classroom.
I was preparing to have the conversation I’d had with him 100s of times. It was almost comical.
“You brought this on yourself,” I said. And he cried. We were both players in a foolish game the government was paying for.
I got his confession and made him write an amends letter. Then we drew pictures for a while.
“Yours look so much better than mine,” he said.
“I’ve had a lot of practice.”
Then Miss Helfrich entered. “What did you say to upset Jason?” She asked.
“Nothing.” And I told her the whole story. Then she noticed my picture of a submarine.
“You’re an artist,” she said. I smiled, but the compliment was followed with responsibility.
“You can draw our new picture schedule on the white board tomorrow.”
The next day was Halloween and I drew Hands, Eyes, Feet, and a Mouth to show how students should pay attention. Without thinking, I gave them monstrous qualities.
The hands were purple with black fingernails. The feet were lizardly and green. The eyes looked evil. And the mouth could swallow a child whole. Miss Helfrich entered the room and stared at the white board in horror. Her jaw dropped to the floor and she looked at me with malice.
“How did that come out of you?” She asked. “There is something dark within you. Do you know how many kids get sacrificed on Halloween as part of Satanic Rituals? I’ll have to contact the principal and you’ll be fired!”
Luckily, the principal was a level-headed man who liked me.
“What seems to be the problem?” He said.
“Our para is possessed!” Miss Helfrich screamed.
“Oh, I don’t know, those drawings are pretty good. Mr. Johnson, why don’t you erase them and give them human qualities.”
“Not a problem, sir!” I said. And when I erased the drawings, something odd happened to Miss Helfrich. She immediately calmed down, like her memory was wiped clean, along with the pictures.