*Beep! Beep!* I turned over to see the clock… “6:00 in the morning. I don’t want to get up,” I groaned. It was the start of another week at Bella Gray Elementary School in Oregon. I had to go back to the annoying brats that I dealt with every single day. I had their coloring projects in my folder to give back to them. I had looked at them over the weekend, although I really didn’t want to. Why in the world would I look at all of the coloring pages that all of these kids did when they can’t even stay in the lines? I honestly couldn’t stand these kindergartners. I questioned every single day why I had decided to major in this torture back in college.

I put on the coffee and got my usual cereal and toast prepared for breakfast. I thought about all the kids in the school. There was this one kid in particular, Toby. Toby was an interesting kid. He was definitely a brat, there was no doubt about that. He never listened to a word I said. I wished I could spank him like teachers used to be able to. It was good enough for my parents, so I don’t know why it couldn’t be good enough for the kids in these generations.

After I ate breakfast and got dressed, I went out to the car. I got in and turned the key. Shit. The car wouldn’t start. It must be a dead battery. I called a co-worker, Jenny, and she came over and gave me a ride.

“Another day, another way of getting money!” Jenny said with greeting when she got to my house. She was always way too perky for the morning, especially if the morning was a Monday.

“Hey, Jenny. Thanks for the ride,” I said.

“No problem!” she said. Way too perky.

We drove off in silence. Jenny was humming, and I was trying to think about how to deal with these brats that I felt like strangling every single day. Since Jenny knew all of my kids about as well as I knew hers, I had to ask. “Jenny, what do you think about Toby? He’s definitely a handful. I don’t know how I’ve gotten this far in the year without strangling him.”

“Oh, Toby is a wonderful kid!” Jenny said. “He’s always so sweet to me. He says he always draws pictures for me.”

“Oh, really? He never draws pictures for me. These kids always seem to like you a lot more than they like me.”

“Try being nicer to them. They like nice. Kids these days don’t like it when their teachers are obviously not happy to be there. Sorry to say, but you always have that frown on your face. “

“He’s not even in my class and they always drive me crazy,” I sighed. I could be nicer to these kids, but I really didn’t want to be. I hated these kids. I wanted to strangle them. That’s when I got the idea. I would murder Toby. I didn’t know how just yet, but I would kill him. Today would be the last day Toby Turner would ever set foot in Bella Gray Elementary School.

While I was lost in my thoughts, we arrived to the school. “You okay?” Jenny asked. “You looked a little deep in thought throughout most of the ride.”

“I just got lost in thinking about my family,” I lied. “It’s been hard, ever since I moved away from them but I just go where the job is.” Okay, so that was true. It has been hard ever since I moved away. After all, my family lives in Texas and I live in Oregon. I do miss them. However, this was the first job that I was able to get my hands on, so I decided to take it while the position was open.

“I know it must be hard, but you’ve made so many new friends here, and you’re great with the kids, once you get rid of that frown. Now come on, let’s go get the room ready, and put on your best teacher smile!”