March 11, 2010

If I hadn't been there, I never would have believed it...

Thrilled that we have canceled our intervention block for the week and a half leading up to spring break, I've decided to use the extra time to read aloud a novel that connects with our social studies unit--Blood on the River.  So, after lunch today, I passed out the "interactive read aloud" packet I made for them to record thoughts and questions while they listen, started settling the kids on the carpet, and was excited about the 25 minute span of time ahead of us to just enjoy a novel together, when--


I look over and see that one of my super coordinated little darlings has leaned against a small book case and knocked the entire thing onto its side.  Books were everywhere, but what's worse, that was the book case on which our pet fish resides in his fancy glass vase filled with beautiful pink glass stones.  Said fish was currently flopping around on the sopping carpet amidst those pretty pink glass stones and shards of glass of varying sizes.  "Quick, grab the jug of water!" I yelled, and we filled a glass I happened to have on hand with it.  Then, I knelt down, staring at the flopping fish--What the hell do I do now?!?!?! I thought.  My methods of teaching science teacher trained me to never let me kids see that I am grossed out by a bug or animal, but seriously, how was I supposed to pick up a struggling beta???  I tried once, but it just didn't happen.  Thankfully, one of my kids swooped in and had that little guy in the glass in no time flat. 

"Everybody, back to your seats and take out a book!" I yelled, once the fish was safe (or as safe as he could possible be--I'd say there's a distinct possibility of brain damage...we'll see if he makes it through the night...).  I REALLY didn't want to be that teacher who has a student get shards of glass embedded in his or her hands under my watch...Things didn't much improve when I called the office and they informed me that the custodian was on his lunch break.  Not wanting to leave the heap of shrapnel unattended, my plans for the educational read aloud faded away and the kids silent read at their desks while I spent 40+ minutes picking shards of glass from the carpet (and let me tell you, fish bowl water is not the most pleasant of aromas...), trying not to get too much stuck in my finger tips. 

When I left for my break during the kids' art class, I looked down at my pants with fish water stains, washed off a little glass cut on my finger, and thought to myself, "This is my career???"  All in a day's work as a teacher, I guess!

One happy thing:  when I was cleaning up the crime scene, the kids managed to circulate a note throughout the entire class that said, "Sorry about the fish!" and was signed by every student.  Adorable.  How they manage to get their acts together enough for that but can barely hang up their backpacks, I'll never know.  But it's days like these that remind me that, while it certainly isn't easy, teaching is nothing if not an ADVENTURE!!!

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