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I am ready. I am so ready for this. I am calm and know what I will do. Oh my God whom am I kidding…? No wait I must relax, I just need to remember not to show fear, they can smell fear, and then they would use it against me. I can already hear the screams coming from the room. Okay, I got to the door all right, and now I just have to walk in. I breathe in deeply and grab the doorknob and push.

I walk in; they continue talking and ignore me. “Um excuse me,” I say. They continue talking so I repeat a little louder, “Excuse me.” Nobody even looks up, feeling a little frustrated I shout “BE QUIET AND SIT DOWN.” Startled they look up, and slowly walk to their seats.

When they are all seated, I say, “Hello my name is Ms. Brandon and I will be your math teacher for the following week.” I hear groans and sighs. “I will expect cooperation from each and every one of you and if you misbehave I will be forced to send you to the principal.”

They look me up and down, and I continue, “Any questions?” Some hands shoot up; I point to a tall black girl and ask for her name. “Emma” she says and then asks," Is this your first job teaching?" I say “Yes,” and looking around the class I see faces brightening. “How old are you?” asks a boy named Darren I say I am 23 and hear some laughter. “Do you have a boyfriend?” Jane asks, “No.” After a fifteen minute long interrogation, in which they had asked more personal questions class begins. I start explaining factoring and suddenly all hell breaks loose.

Wow, who knew that being a teacher was such hard work. I mean the hours they spend checking homework, exams, and meeting parents is unbelievable.

And most importantly dealing with students, .

The first day was a disaster, I tried to give the class, but they wouldn’t listen. They were playing, drawing, reading everything but paying attention to me. I gave a whole class, but nobody copied a note. I wrote the homework down but the next day nobody had done it, and they had all insisted that it was my fault since I hadn’t written it down.

After that day at my friend’s Mimi house, I asked if she knew a way to get the attention of all my students. After some time we came up with the perfect answer and we started planning.

The next day I walked in, full of confidence,. I was ready. “Hello, how are …” I couldn’t finish my sentence I was so surprised, they were all sitting down. They had their books and out and were all-silent. This was amazing! I hadn’t even started talking, but my plan was already working. "Today I am not going to explain anything, today some of your class mates will teach you. “You and you in the corner stand up and explain chapter 6”.

They get up and start explaining, while I watch the classroom. They were all silent and paying close attention. I sighed in relief. Wait a moment they were not looking at the two students explaining, or even at the blackboard, they were looking at me. Well that was very weird, but I did not dare correct them. This was the first time since I came that they had been quiet, and the moment felt so precious that I did not want to risk ruining it. The silence was so nice that I started dozing off. Suddenly out of he corner of my eye I saw a big hairy something. My sleepy brain took a moment to recognize what it was, but as soon as I realized, I jumped on my desk, and started screaming “RAT, THERE IS A RAT IN THAT CORNER.” All of the class started to laugh, and I turned red. It wasn’t a rat it was a very lifelike toy, but not a rat. After the laughing stopped, I stood up and asked very seriously “Who does this belong to.” They didn’t stop smiling. Nobody answered. Finally a girl named Mary said, “It probably belongs to the janitor, he is always leaving stuff in all the classrooms.” Then they all started laughing again. The bell rang soon afterwards, and I fled from the room, which was filled with laughter.

At last, it’s the weekend, the ordeal is finally over.

I am sitting in a restaurant and drinking a coffee with Mimi “The rest of the week wasn’t that bad” I say, “I mean they did put paint on my chair and they did stick a sign on my back that said kick me but it wasn’t that bad.” Mimi raises her eyebrows and looks at me skeptically “Not that bad, so if this isn’t bad I wonder what is?” she asks “Well you are right my this first job has been terrible, but the other will turn out better won’t it” I glance at her looking for reassurance

“Of course it will next week you are now prepared and ready to handle anything those kids throw at you.” Mimi stands up and says she will go to the bathroom.

I silently hope I will be better next week , because I have always dreamt about teaching. I mean what could be more heartwarming than schooling children.

This is why when I received the invitation I immediately accepted. I quit my job as a fashion designer and I took all types of classes, and after that I sold my apartment in New York and bought one in Brooklyn so I could be close to the schools.

When my parents, found out they were so surprised that my father drop his wine glass on the white carpet and my mother almost fell down the stairs. They looked at as if I had just announced that I was going to grow a second head “a teacher, Jenny, dear you are almost a famous and important designer, a few more years in the field and you could be as famous as Gucci or Versace and you will trade that for teaching.” I didn’t even bother to answer. I just stood up and left. I hadn’t spoken to them since. But what if they were right what if I had thrown all my years of had work when I decided to become a teacher. Maybe if I could just, return to my old life and get back on track. F she called her boss now she could beg him to hire her again. Yes that was exactly what she would do she would call him. She took out her phone and starts scrolling down her lists of contacts and clicks on her boss’s name. The phone rings once, twice, three times and answer she thinks please answer. She gets the a machine “Hello you are calling Mr. Harris at the moment I can’t answer because I am in vacation in Mexico, I will arrive in one week so you can call me then or just leave a message after the beep”. Oh that’s just great one week, what would she do for one week. Wait a moment she could teach at that school for a week and then if she didn’t like it she would go. Yes that is exactly what she would do.

“What is the name the next school you will be going to?” Mimi asks sitting down and in the table. “Um, I don’t really know I know it is a boarding school but the name is…, wait let me see, I have the letter, here somewhere…” I look inside my purse and finally find it. " It is called Spence Academy FMBG".

“FMBG” asked Mimi what does that mean, “No idea” I replied.

I arrive at Spence twenty minutes early and while I wait in the principal’s office for his arrival I look at the brochures that on his desks. Spence Academy I read, “Spence Academy the best school for misbehaved boys and girls in the country.” My heartbeat quickens as I read the words. What have I gotten myself into? An academy for misbehaved kids, if the ones in the last school behaved normally, how would these kids behave. I scanned the rest of the pamphlet, and read, “it doesn’t matter if he has been thrown out of 1 or 20 schools, it doesn’t matter if he has a criminal record we assure that they will come out of Spence as a real gentleman/lady.” Criminal records, thrown out of schools! How was I going to deal with these MISBEHAVED kids, if couldn’t deal with normal ones. The principal walks in he is a short man with a great deal of muscle. He looks like a soldier. “Hello my name is Principal Gutierrez, I was a former soldier, but I retired. You are the third teacher this month to come, and I warn you that this is no walk in the park. These kids are the worst of the worst. You must be ready for everything. Do you understand that?”

“Yes” I reply. “If you manage to last more than a week I will give you a permanent position, but if I were you I would leave this building and never come back.” He looks at me expectantly, I don’t move. He moves towards the door “I will lead you to your new classroom”

He leads me to a classroom. As we approach the door a man runs out and sighs, “Thank goodness you’re here!” I am strongly tempted to run towards the exit but I suppress the impulse. Principal Gutierrez moves toward a corner with the man and they start whispering. I just stare at the door of the classroom, I could run now, and there would be no shame in it I could go back to my boss and beg him to give me back my job. If he didn’t I could always get another job, anything would be better than, having to deals with these kids.

I suddenly notice that there is a phrase in the door it says; “We will kill…” my blood turns cold. No wait a moment I read it wrong it says, “What doesn’t kill … What doesn’t kill” the last words are a little blurry and I bend down to read the “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” I smile.

I stand there staring at the phrase and smiling at the door, and suddenly I hear a voice “Ready” the principal says. I take a deep breath mutter “what the heck!” and walk in.

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