I had never experienced such behaviour from a seven year old, in fifteen years of teaching. What a disgrace! I thought to myself, Little weed!
He continued to curse and cuss at me. I struggled to push aside the angry responses that threatened to engulf me.
Inside, I was fuming. Outside, I remained calm.
I eyeballed him, saying nothing but refusing to back down. He was short for his age with a light sprinkling of freckles across the bridge of his nose, a shock of brown hair and startling eyes, blue in colour.
A chair whizzed past my head, missing me by mere centimetres. Suddenly, shaking, I realised the magnitude of the situation. I looked around at the thirteen other children in the room. They were terrified, gaping at me wide eyed and huddled together on the floor. Thank goodness I had so many students away today. Thank you flu-season, I thought.
“Let’s go outside for a break. You guys have been amazing,” I said, and hurried them out the side exit door of the classroom. I locked the door behind me. As I peered through the windows, I noticed he had now picked up a shard of wood that had splintered from the chair he had thrown. He waved it at me menacingly through the glass.
I shook my head. All those strategies and classroom management tools that I had learnt over the years! I racked my brain, searching for one that would help. A solution eluded me.
How am I going to get through the year? Through to him? I despaired.
The keta* disappeared as I looked up from my desk, at the approaching student. His striking blue eyes were shining with excitement rather than rage. The brown shock of hair was flattened where his hands had been resting against his head, whilst he worked. I smiled at him as he handed me his book.
A quick scan of the page and my smile grew even wider as I noted all the correct answers.
“Well done Mikey, you are just nailing these three digit numbers. I’m so proud of how far you’ve come!”
He beamed and visibly swelled with pride, “Thanks Mrs Whiley.”
It wasn’t just about the numbers. We both knew that.
Funny, I thought, I had found a solution in the end.
I had broken through.
By Sarah ©2017
Words used: never, disgrace, weed, engulf, short, colour, chair, magnitude, thirteen, share, elusive (eluded), keta
*Keta (noun) an image that inexplicably leaps back into your mind from the distant past