Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Visitor in the Classroom

knock After reading Blogging About Listening In The Classroom from The Chronicles of a Veteran Kindergarten Teacher, she writes about crickets overtaking her classroom. If you get a chance to read her story, it is a good one and guaranteed to make you smile, if not outright laugh!

I am reminded about an incident like this in my classroom.

I have always told my students how much I value them and feel like they are family once they enter my classroom. Maybe I go too far with this because one day, one of my high school students decided to share part of his after-school family with his in-school family. Like the Kindergarten teacher, I didn’t listen as well as I should have listened. I heard the kids whispering and laughing but I was busy. I had paperwork to complete before I started the lesson. I had an upcoming IEP meeting that was in the back of my mind. I had a couple of problems with students in other classes that I needed to take of as soon as possible. So, needless to say, when the student said he had something to show us, I told him to sit down and I would let him do that in a few minutes. I’m just glad I delayed this and didn’t just tell him to go ahead.

Finally, I noticed the whispering was louder and the worried glances in my direction alerted me to something. I guess it is that innate alarm that most teachers have and they can sniff out trouble like no one else can. I put all thoughts aside and my heart started beating faster. Glancing around the room, I tried to zero in on the problem. Immediately my eyes settled on the student who requested an audience. So I walked quickly to his desk when I noticed a burlap bag on the floor beside him. It was tied with rope around the top.

Then I noticed something in the bag moved! It didn’t just move slightly. I mean, the whole bag moved! I, of course, moved too; backwards away from the bag!

Everyone got quiet and watched my face and then watched the bag. It looked as if they were watching a tennis match.

Finally, when I found my voice, I asked my student what was in the bag. He informed me that it was his pet snake, Harry. Luckily I taught in a portable because I got the student to take Harry outside the classroom and using my cell phone, we phoned someone at home to come get Harry. The administration never knew about our visitor that day (but did some time after) and unfortunately for my student, he never got to share Harry with the class.

Maybe you think that was wrong of me, but I am afraid of snakes. I imagined many terrible things in those minutes waiting for a parent to arrive. I pictured Harry escaping. I pictured Harry biting other students. I pictured some students fainting. I pictured what students would be discussing at the dinner table that day.

What a day! Have you had any surprise visitors in your classroom?

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original image: 'knock three times' by: darwin Bell

1 comment:

VKT said...

Snakes......ewwwwwww.....I am like you...they scare me. Have I had any unexpected visitors? hmmmmmm....termites, a mouse, wasps, bees, crickets, a pig (the school was in the country)...I don't want to put you to sleep so I will stop there....