When one becomes a teacher, they don’t necessarily think about the possibility of getting physically injured. Carpel Tunnel? Sure. Eye strain? Oh yeah. Cirrhosis of the liver from too much drinking? Well that one’s a given lol. But actually getting physically injured because of a student? That one never ever crossed my mind. Yeah in the back of my mind, I thought teaching would involve Disney animals frolicking in to my classroom to help decorate and keep it tidy. Naive? Absolutely. But somewhere, I knew there was some middle ground. Oh how wrong I was.
My classroom is furnished in early American cast off. My teacher desk is a relic from the 1950’s, or possibly earlier. It’s a big assed old wooden desk that is virtually indestructible. I say virtually because the last one I had got a whole kicked in the side by an angry student. I won’t bring in a fan because they’re easy to be picked up and can be used as a weapon, and when I brought in floor lamps, I was able to tuck them into corners with other furniture in front of them so they are not easily accessible and can’t be picked up and thrown. These are the things teachers have to consider. Probably not all teachers, but I do.
I also never in my life thought that I would be breaking up fights, but I do, and in fact, I did last week, which is why I am indeed a bit broken and battered. I’ll give both kids credit, neither one of them wanted to hurt me, only each other. Unfortunately, they were both fine and I’m the one in in pain. Between the chairs that got thrown, and the young man who was channeling his inner Hulk, there was me. Again, not something I ever envisioned when I was in college.
So I’ve iced, and I’ve used heat. I’ve rested and I’ve taken countless Aleve, Advil, and Tylenol trying to work through the stiffness and pain. But when both boys came back today after their suspensions, I greeted them with smiles. Because even though I am a bit broken and battered, I am a teacher, and I don’t give up on them.