I Love You, Teacher

I snapped this week.
It was during dismissal. The hallway was crazy. Kids running wild. Fighting, punching, screaming, shouting. The chaos trickled into my room. Within minutes, my kids had unraveled into a scene of pandemonium.
I could barely keep tabs on everyone. Parents were coming in and out as they pleased, papers were flying everywhere, and in the midst of everything, the intercom blasted with an announcement that I could barely hear because the noise was deafening.
I strained at the intercom while kids ran circles around me and Daryl squealed and whined about another kid who was making fun of him. The announcement ended. I’d missed every word. I clenched my fists in anger and screamed.
  “SIDDOWN AND BE QUIET!!!!!!!!!!!”
The words echoed in my brain. I paused in my rage and blinked at the scene around me. Harry had come back into the room wanting to say goodbye. He had taken me by the legs and squeezed and whispered, “I love you, teacher!” as the words exploded from my mouth. The scene replayed in my head:
I’d snapped. Screamed. Harry had jumped at the sound of my rage. The words, “I love you, teacher,” were still fresh on his lips. His grandmother was standing behind me. She grabbed Harry by the hand and left the room without a word.
I blinked and called out breathlessly, “Goodbye, Harry!” But he was gone. I could barely swallow my shame.
from October 20, 2012

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