Posted on August 16, 2023

Hurricane David - Gebo's

On Meet the Teacher night 2013 my classroom was prepared and I was ready for anything or so I thought. Anything that is, except for David. 

David did not simply walk into my classroom.   He blew in. As I soon found out,  he had one speed, fast. Very, very fast. 

David was a beautiful blue-eyed blonde imp. If mischievous had a picture, it would look like him. I took one look at David  and knew that he was trouble with a Capital T!  I quickly went into survival mode. Hide the breakables and call in reinforcements mode. He had a gleam in his eye and you could almost see the wheels turning in his 5 year old brain. He was so excited to be there! Like it was the  most exciting thing to happen to him! ( I soon found out it was!) I showed him my classroom and told him that he would get to use everything there eventually.  Since so far he was the only child there , I was able to give him my full attention. I chatted briefly with his parents, who looked on at their beloved offspring with something akin to worry and trepidation in their eyes. Little did I know that this was the calm before the storm; a storm much worse than Hurricane Katrina; a category 7 hurricane named David. 

For in less than  five minutes, Hurricane David  had blown through my classroom, leaving a path of destruction and chaos in his wake. With a huge smile on his face and giggling the entire time, he proceeded to demolish it. He gleefully set about dismantling my carefully organized centers, and my bulletin boards that I had so lovingly put together lay in ruins on the floor. Even my teacher’s desk did not escape. ( I very quickly learned to lock everything!)  There was nothing he had not picked up, messed up, or thrown about the room. I looked alarmingly at his parents, silently entreating them for help. But I soon learned that they had no control over their child.

It was evident to me that David had never held a book. I decided to let him explore whichever one he chose. My teacher’s soul cringed when he started rifling through my library and books landed helter skelter on the floor. But, when he proceeded to try to rip one apart, I almost lost my patience.  I very gently removed the book from his hands and said, “No David.”  His mother gasped and said,  “Oh, David doesn’t like the word no!” He  better get used to it, I thought, because he’s going to be hearing it a lot.

Somehow I survived the next two hours. Parents and students came and went, but David never left. As each new student came in, He would meet them at the door like he was the greeter at Walmart. But he didn’t know how to give a simple hug;  he overwhelmed the other children. I learned later that the only child David had ever been around was a cousin who used him as a punching bag. Why this was allowed I have no idea. Except that his parents were extremely timid, and evidently wouldn’t or couldn’t stand up for their son. That’s the only way David knew how to interact with other children. Though I tried to interest David in something else, anything else, so I could visit with each parent and child, David decided he wanted to be my shadow. Needless to say the others did not stay long.

When the two hours were mercifully over, David and his parents still did not seem to want to leave. Thankfully my assistant principal came by and reminded them that Meet the Teacher night was over. When they were finally gone, I sat in the remains  of  my once  beautiful classroom and cried. Because I knew that I had to put it all back together before I went home. But that didn’t bother me. What  really scared me was knowing that school started just  a short 3 days later. And I didn’t know what I was going to do. 

Because on Monday, David would be back!


By: Gail Lindsey

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