The one true characteristic that makes me rage with anger, fill with anxiety, and gasp desperately for air.
Needy friend who always wants to hang out or asks “what are we doing tonight?”. NOPE. Cannot handle. Needy guy who’s emotional stability somehow depends upon the number of times I replied to his texts that day or the hours that we hung out during the week. NOPE. Be gone with you. And finally, that leaves me to the neediest of all humans.
I see the faces of 100 children a day and 96 of them are some of the neediest human beings I have ever encountered.
“Ms. Wildes!” “Ms. Wildes”, 25 voices call my name as I race frantically between partners during “buddy work”. “Ms. Wildes, my hand has been up for a long time!” “Ms. Wildes, we need help over here,” “Ms. Wildes, can I borrow your pencil sharpener again?” “Ms. Wildes, I need to go to the office to call my mom,” “Ms. Wildes, does this look right so far?”
“Ms. Wildes!” “Ms. Wildes!”
75 percent of the time, the scenario goes as follows…
“Ms. Wildes, HAAALP!” the innocent children shriek. “Yes?” I dart over from across the room, practically breaking a sweat with crazy pieces of hair falling out of my bun around my eyes. “Ms. Wildes, we don’t get it,”. “Ok… Where are you getting stuck?” “EVERYYYTHING!” the children make similar sounds to the dying mammals in the science video I saw a teacher testing during my planning period. “Alright. Well, did you read the question?” “…No,”
“Ok,” the anxiety in my voice gradually becomes audible as I signal to 3 other groups that I see their hands and will be right with them. “Start with that. Read it. Read it twice. I only help students who help themselves,” I race off almost slipping on the dirty floors to repeat the same conversation with another 4 students.
It often takes every fiber of my being not to look up to the sky and scream “Shut the fuck upppp already!!!” at the top of my lungs. In my daydreams, I have this outburst, the room goes silent, and all my students stare at me, blink twice, and turn to their assignments, reading the questions and no longer needing all this hand-holding bullshit. Instead, I reopen the wound on the inside of my cheek and tap my foot to communicate my disappointment.
By the end of the day I am exhausted, thirsty, and so overwhelmed with the anxiety of having 100 needy-as-shit kids that I can hardly handle reading and responding to any text messages that I have missed since 8:00 a.m.
I love kids. Love ’em. But this whole experience has made me seriously question if I could ever be a
- dog owner
- anyone who anyone else depends on for their own livelihood
Shit. I’m fucked.