Teach the Children!

So, there’s this school. It’s a small one where the teachers only have twenty students and the cafeteria is as large as my living room. The classrooms are filled with paper teddy bears plastered to wall and shining stars crookedly lined up next to sharpied names. You wouldn’t know that most of the children come from chaotic homes from the way they behave:  hands in their laps, synchronized responses, classroom leadership positions…the works. Children politely fight to help the teacher. The teacher’s word is law.

Basically, it is a tutor’s dream come true.

I went with a couple of cadets from my school to “mentor the children”, my commander said. So, we suited up in our best pair of ABUs, washed the mud off of our boots, and prepared to burst in, mentoring guns blazing. To our shock, we encountered a wide-eyed group of twenty children, carefully attempting to control their wiggly hands. Gone were the memories of tooth-breaking, hair-ripping days of elementary school. We had found a new breed of children:  well-behaved ones.

We ate lunch together, Mrs. McGraff’s class and I, and learned all the interesting facts about each other. Lela had a few puppies. Oh, well, isn’t that nice? A puppy! Yeah, but someone stole them all and put them in a bag and tried to run over them. Um. Well. That isn’t very nice. Miguel had a dog too. Oh, what kind? How lovely! I dunno. It’s dead now. Um. Hmmm. Sorry?

These well-behaved children may know how to put away the team folders and raise their hand without shouting, but dinner conversation is not their forte.

Even so, I found myself reluctant to leave. Why, I asked myself? Why don’t you want to escape this structured world of rules, processed food, and grubby hands? And as I turned my back to the waving children, I realized what it was. Children, morbid sticky creatures that they are, bring fresh joy to everyday things like the death of your puppies and the way my last name is spelled. Every little thing is beautiful. And that is why I am going back.

One Comment to “Teach the Children!”

  1. HAHAHHAHA I loved the part about the puppies. Children are always so honest and unfiltered. It’s one of the most interesting looks into humanity. I think this unfailing honesty is what makes them, as you said, refreshing.

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