This is more of a comedic turn for me, hope it doesn't FAIL! It'll be a mini-story, no more than 5 chapters give or take. Oh yeah, all of these situations have happened at one point or another in my teaching career.
"Emmet's in the glue again!" I called out to Kate.
My assistant hurried over to Emmett's table, gently prying the bottle away from him. "How did you get into the cabinet?" Kate put the cap back on and set it out of reach.
Emmett now sported a thick Elmer's mustache on his upper lip. "I climbed on the chair and Jazz gave me a boost." Kate rolled her eyes as she wiped off the glue and I glanced at Jasper. He was grinning in a cute manner, as if to say, You can't punish this face, come on! It must be mid-morning at Forks Institute.
"What is it with you and the glue?" I herded Emmett and Jasper over to the blocks.
"It's gooey and nice, Ms. Esme," Emmett shrugged as he picked up the blocks and immediately engaged in a tower-building contest with Jasper. He was the only one who called me by my first name, instead of the usual Ms. Platt.
I walked over to Kate and helped her set up the next activity. "Let's just keep an eye on him. If he turns green, just pick him up and haul it to Ms. Cope's." The nurse had seen her fair share of Emmett at her office. "We don't want a repeat of the turtle incident." Kate grimaced.
Emmett had scarfed down the turtle food pellets on a dare from his brother, Jasper. Twenty minutes later, he was upchucking all over his collage paper and sent the rest of the kids screaming and running for the recess yard.
Later, we sat the kids down for circle time. I looked around at all my children—Emmett, Jasper, Bella, Edward, Michael, Rosalie, Tyler, Alice, Eric, Jessica, Lauren, Angela, Ben, Lee… I loved them as though they were my own. At 33, though I still looked so much younger, most of my fellow teachers and parents had written me off as a typical spinster teacher. It didn't bother me as much as the fact that I'd known since my 20s that I couldn't have kids.
That was one of the reasons that prompted me to become an early education teacher. So far, it was doing an adequate job filling the void. But I still loved my work passionately.
We began singing our daily songs, reviewing days of the week, numbers, and ABCs. Bella, Edward, and Alice were amongst my brightest kids. So after circle time, I sat down to work with them independently and introduce slightly more advanced concepts.
When I dismissed them right before snack time, I took a few minutes to stroll around and watch the kids work. I mediated an argument between Rosalie and Lauren, who were fighting over the princess costume at the dress-up drama center. Michael, Ben, Jessica, and Angela were drawing with crayons, quietly for once. Alice, Lee, and Eric had joined Emmett and Jasper at the blocks, and then I noticed one kid unaccounted for. I quickly found Tyler under one of the tables. He was eating the yellow Play-Doh. I coaxed him out and assured him snack time was only five minutes away.
Bella and Edward were making an unholy racket with the musical instruments. I took this as a sign to begin singing our clean-up song and the kids immediately put all the toys away; they took their seats at their assigned tables.
Kate and I picked the least fidgety kids first to go wash their hands at the miniature sink and get their lunchboxes from their cubbyholes. The smell of tuna fish, peanut butter and jelly, and bananas filled the air. We walked amongst the tables, opening cookie bags and punching straws through juice boxes.
The only incident during snack time was Jasper squeezing his juice box a little too enthusiastically and spilling grape juice all over Alice. Bella comforted her while Edward looked on solemnly, and Rosalie managed to convince Alice that the purple stains actually worked with her pink dress. Jasper actually appeared slightly ashamed under Alice's tearful gaze and even managed a soft, "Sorry," for Alice.
After snack and recess time, which Kate and I spent pushing the children on the swings, we had a quiet activity period. Kids glued yellow paper squares onto a bus ditto. We kept a close eye on Emmett's use of glue.
Dismissal time came all too soon. Kate took the carpool kids and joined the other teachers for the dismissal duty. I had the individual pick-up kids this week. I managed to juggle the usual chaos of jackets, lunchboxes, and art projects while waving the kids goodbye and handing out one-armed hugs.
I knew the kids would be back tomorrow, yet couldn't keep from feeling a quick, queer stab of pain that had more to do with the sight of children like Edward Masen. Both his parents came to pick him up everyday. It was bittersweet to see his parents kiss each other and cuddle Edward as they loaded him into the car, chatting all the while. I longed for closeness, family, love.
But never mind. I shook my head, indulging in my pessimistic thoughts. Kate and I returned to the classroom, sighing as we had survived another day.
I know Ms. Cope was the office secretary, not the nurse. Deal with it. Too OOC? Think it's too much for a single day? Think about the fact that this, for me, would be a small classroom—Esme has 14 kids, we have 24. It may feel like they're not watching them at all, what with the glue and clay eating, but trust me, it happens. Reviews please!