Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Tales from the Schoolyard
Working at an elementary school has been an interesting experience for me. I haven't blogged much lately, because I am so exhausted and worn out after work each day. Here are some of my daily happenings:
Bloody noses abound on the playground. I have twice now, accompanied small crying girls, with blood dripping out the cracks of their fingers, back into the school where I tell them they are going to be ok. I pretend like I know exactly what to do and I try not to let on that I'm completely grossed out with the red trail of drops on the asphalt and the nasty spittle that would come out of anyone's mouth when they are completely bawling. The time when Hermana Dunlop and I were driving in Van Nuys and all of a sudden her nose started spurting blood while at the wheel in heavy traffic was nothing compared to what I've seen now, nor have the solutions been so easy as with Hna. Dunlop, when I dove into my scripture bag only to find a maxi pad, which she promptly pressed to her nose, while continuing to press the gas pedal and we made our appointment in time.
I have also dealt with vomit. One day while riding the bus home with the kids, a 6th grade boy became ill and threw up. It splatted on the seat in front of him and chunked it's way down to the floor. I was in the middle of texting someone when I heard the kids call, "Miss Fox, Eduardo threw up!" I rushed up to the front and about gagged. I'd like to say that I was completely compassionate and selfless, but my insides actually boiled up inside and I was filled with rage. I kept the rage at bay, throwing paper towels in the boy's direction, donning plastic gloves that came in the bus's body fluids clean-up kit and opening little packets of sani-wipes. I was mad at the bus driver, Owen, who dumbfoundedly watched me console the sick student, wipe chunky puke off his arms and jacket, and at the same directed the other kids towards the back of the bus. For the second time in my life as a teacher aide, I told all the kids to "Shut up" while I cleaned up the mess.
Some of the perks of my job have been being able to drink out of tiny paper milk cartons, access to the teacher's lounge (today I helped myself to some chocolate cake in there), quiet moments in my head while on recess duty in the beautiful outdoors, and delicious cafeteria food- in it's processed and mass produced glory, which includes mac and cheese that rivals a DQ milkshake in it's adherence to the tray when held upside down.
I like my job: I get kids in trouble and they cry, watch a lot of movies, read books about animals (did you know that the strongest muscle is the jaw?), write kids up for misbehaving, read stories out loud, lead art projects and teach math groups. I usually do ok, but the other day, while writing some equations on the board a student asked, "Miss Fox, could you teach the math right today?" The previous day I couldn't remember how to multiply double digits together, but I figured it out after a trial and error series, yet I don't blame her for asking.