Monday, November 14, 2005
1998 was the first first year I started teaching Kindergarten. Considering that it was my first year, and I had never taught before, my class was really good. They were smart, and very well behaved-except for Jessica.
Every morning the class would say in unison, "Good Morning, Ms. L." Jessica would just sit there and glare at me. When I would tell Jessica to do something, she would simply say "No." She would often ask me, "Ms. L, do you think I'm pretty?" "Yes, Jessica, you're pretty," I would answer. "That's what everyone tells me," she would say, and skip off.
There was a boy named Joshua in my class who had a crush on Jessica. He would bother Jessica quite a bit. One day, while playing outside, he came running up to me, out of breath. "Ooh, Ms. L. Jessica said a bad word. She told me to 'fuck off.'" "What?!" I asked, astonished.
I marched over to Jessica, who sat quietly swinging alone. "Jessica!" I demanded. "Did you say a bad word to Joshua?" "Yeah," she answered. "He was bothering me, so I told him to fuck off."
I would often catch Jessica sticking her middle finger at Joshua during class time. "Put your finger down, Jessica," I would say. "Do you know what you're doing?" "Yes," she would answer. "I'm telling him to fuck off."
Last week, Jessica, who is now in 7th grade came by my classroom to visit me. She is almost as tall as I am, and quite beautiful.
Jessica: Hi, Ms. L (grinning)
me: Oh, my gosh! Jessica. How are you?
Jessica: Good. And you?
me: I'm doing really well. Here, let me see if I can find our class picture (I rummage through my file drawer but can't find it). Can't find it. Anyway, how's middle school?
Jessica: It's whatever.
me: What are you learning there?
Jessica. Whatever. The same old stuff.
me: And your friends? Do you have the same friends?
Jessica: They're whatever.
me: Do you remember Joshua?
me: Do you remember telling him to f-off?
Jessica: (laughs) Yeah, I do.
me: You were something else, even at age 5.
Jessica: (giving me a hug) You were one of my favorite teachers.
me: I liked you too.
Jessica walked off, and all of a sudden, I felt like the most important person in the world. Life is so fulfilling, and hilarious.
Posted by Jaimie ::
8:04 AM ::
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