The Teacher

21 Dec

teacher

Melinda dedicated her adult life to the education of children. Even as a teenager she volunteered to work with kids every moment she got the chance. It was a dream come true to open the doors of her very own pre-school. It was a conquest three years in the making from the time she wrote her business plan.

Her philosophy was to learn through play. She didn´t believe in disciplining behavior at all. She didn´t even believe in verbal reprimands. A child was to express themselves, no matter what. That was her creed.

Her first prospect came through the door during her open house event. Joann entered, dragging her son Chad by the arm. Melinda gave them the well-rehearsed tour followed by her even more well-polished sales pitch. Joann wasn´t even listening. She was going to sign on the dotted line, even if the tuition was her entire substantial life savings.

Chad had been kicked out of every child care facility in the 30 mile radius. Joann couldn´t take one more day with him at home. Every appliance was now broken, windows were shattered and the cat was dead; all by the hands of Chad. She thought about trying to lock him up in some kind of troubled youth facility, but her mother in law would in turn, cut off the checks. The checks were too big to waive off. She had to attempt to throw one more Hail Mary.

Melinda smiled at Chad and he snarled back “See you next week, Chad” she said, never breaking eye contact and ignoring the animalistic sounds coming from the boy.

The first day of classes came. Chad had been the only student matriculated. Melinda saw this as an opportunity. She realized he was going to need some special attention.

“Good morning Chad! Welcome to the first day of school” Melinda said.

“Where´s the TV?” Chad snapped.

His mother was gesturing as if to say “No!” She leaned towards Melinda and whispered into her ear “Don´t let him have any screen time, it agitates him”

Melinda answered with pride “This school is a screen free zone. Even my cell phone is in my car”

Chad moaned and sprinted towards the door that was still somewhat ajar from when he and his mother had entered. He went right for Melinda´s car. There were only two cars in the parking lot and the other was his mom´s. He picked up a fairly large rock for his size and launched it at the driver´s side window. “Phone!” Chad shrieked. Luckily, the rock bounced off without leaving a scratch.

“Chad!” his mom screamed.

“It´s ok” Melinda said, “You can go. I´ll handle this”

“Are you sure?” she asked with her keys already in her hand as she was inching towards her car.

“Yes” Melinda answered.

Melinda took Chad by the hand and led him inside. Once the door was secured shut, Melinda kneeled down to Chad´s eye level. She gave him a big hug. Chad wept. She explained at length why what he did was wrong and how he was still a good kid who just needs to make better decisions. She also discussed why there were no screens in the school. Surprisingly, Chad understood.

Chad acted out, to a lesser extent, three more times that day. Each time, Melinda used the same tactic. Chad started warming to her, a lot. When Joanna came to pick Chad up, he didn´t want to go. He screamed, he scratched the walls. He even peed in his pants.

“I don´t know what you did or how you survived today, but…” Joanna said, perplexed “but you did something right”

As the school year went on Chad´s behavior, in class, was impeccable. Like a yellow Labrador, he wouldn´t leave Melinda´s side. At home, on the other hand, he was spiraling out of control. He went as far as to try to burn the deck to the ground. He was even fairly successful. The school was flourishing. Melinda had to double staff and even had to put potential students on a waiting list.

One day, a fancy dressed lawyer showed up to the show. He sat in Melinda´s office and produced a photo of a child. “Do you know this student?”

“Yes, of course, that´s my Chad!” she answered.

The lawyer made an inquisitive face at her response. “Indeed. Your Chad. This is the meaning of my visit Miss…”

“Doce, Melinda Doce”

“Yes, Miss Doce. I represent Chad´s grandparents. His mother has past…”

“What?!”

“His mother has passed away. She overdosed on a mix of pills and alcohol. His father does not want to continue with custody. His grandparents feel they are too old to properly care for him and besides, they could not control him to save their lives. He speaks of you fondly. Quite often. They´ve noticed a lot of positive change in him since he has been studying here”

“Oh my God. What´s going to happen to him?” tears were flowing down Melinda´s face.

“That depends on you Miss Doce. His grandparents have a proposal”

“What kind of proposal?”

“You get full custody of Chad. They want to see him quarterly and perhaps a little more in the quarters that have a major holiday. You´ll receive $15,000 per month for the rest of your life from a trust they will set up. Besides this, all of Chad´s expenses will be taken care of, clothing, medical care, athletics, eventually college…”

“I´d take him for FREE!” Melinda cried.

“His grandparents said that if you were to imply such a sentiment that the monthly stipend shall increase to $20,000 per month”

The lawyer went over more details and Melinda signed some paperwork. Chad became not only her student, but became her son. Her school grew and eventually opened franchises all over the region. After completing university, Chad shared the reins of Melinda´s educational empire. They were a happy family.

 

 

 

2 Responses to “The Teacher”

  1. Bruce Goodman December 22, 2018 at 12:04 am #

    I was waiting for the murder. Good story. Good moral.

    • Ryan December 22, 2018 at 1:25 pm #

      Hahaha you know me too well. I thought it was going there too, but it just didn’t. Thanks for reading it!

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