Thursday, August 19, 2010

Quarter-Swallowing, Toothpick-Stabbed 3rd Graders

So I've had a mental lapse in this whole half marathon thing. I've continued my training, but I'm definitely not as excited about it as I was before. Before, I was like I can conquer the world bitches! And now...not soooo much. I was discouraged on the treadmill the other day. I can run 8 miles on the treadmill on a 0.0 incline, no problem. Pretty bad least, that's what I thought.

After having a tough time on an outside run, I decided maybe I should change the incline to resemble an outside run. Welllll F that. That shit is so hard! It made me start freaking out about the 13 miles I need to run OUTSIDE. So yes, I've started to freak out just a little bit. Luckily for me, Chris LaCava is a very motivating person. We've facebook chatted about these anxieties and he has made me realize that everyone goes through this and I just need to refocus and train harder for the next 7 weeks, which is the plan.

(P.S. My blog is telling me that facebook is spelled wrong...what?! How has facebook not been added to the dictionary yet? I wonder what the definition would be? "A tool is in which most users spend about 53.5% of their waking minutes glued to the computer screen." or "A program where stalkers have many options available to stalk their prey." or "An instrument in which women may monitor their husband's technological flirting." There would just be so many options...anyone have any suggestions?)

So anyways, I have to get back on the hog with this training thing. Now, I have to get back on the hog whilst (I love that word) beginning my second year of teaching. Now my first year of teaching went pretty well, I mean, I was hired again for a second year. However, I did have some catastrophes which at this point are pretty amusing.

First, I had a student who swallowed a quarter under my supervision. My students were working pretty hard, minus one group...I came to find out. I'm walking around the classroom ensuring all students are learning when I hear: "OMG, I can't believe you did that!" I, of course, double take and make a B line toward their table.

I am curious to find out what this student did that the other students were in complete shock of. So I ask, and the student in question says "I swallowed a quarter." Now, I, praying to the heavens above, ask "You mean you swallowed a quarter a long time ago, right?"

And the student answers "Yes."

Sweet, I'm in the clear. I don't care that he swallowed a quarter when he was 2 and then his mom fished it out of his diaper.

......And then this student drops the bomb..."Well yeah, I swallowed a quarter a couple of years ago and I swallowed a quarter a couple minutes ago."

My response: "WHAT?! You swallowed a quarter WHILST in this classroom?!"

His response: "Yeah, there's nothing wrong with it. I've done it before and nothing happened. Annnnnnd, I just won a bet."

Great. Thank you student. I now have to tell the principal and nurse why you swallowed a quarter under my watch.

The policy is that students may not come back to school until the object has "passed." Meaning, yes, the mother will have to search through his poo every day until she finds the prize at the bottom of the cereal box.

The student was out for an entire week missing his first CMT. Bravo Lauren, Bravo.

Another incident. As a third grade teacher, I teach a math unit on 3D shapes. To help students wrap their minds around the difference of 2D shapes and 3D shapes, we made 3D shapes using toothpicks and marshmallows. The students had a great time and the lesson went well because the objective was met. My mentor teacher, who has been doing this project for 20-something years, told me that students may take home one shape to show their parents and explain what it is.

Of course, the project having marshmallows in it, the students are dying to eat marshmallows. So I give them each a huge handful of marshmallows at the end of the lesson. I tell them, "DO NOT EAT THE MARSHMALLOWS FROM YOUR PROJECT! YOUR DISGUSTING, LITTLE HANDS-maybe I didn't say disgusting-HAVE BEEN HANDLING THEM FOR AN HOUR AND THEY ARE NOT SAFE ENOUGH TO EAT."

So the day ends and I send them off with their projects. About 10 minutes after the last bus has left, someone comes running into my room telling me one of my students is in the nurse's office and it seems pretty serious. My first thought, "Oh shit, what happened?" Then the messenger told me it was this girl in my class who is one of the smartest children I've ever met. She started the Harry Potter series in April and was finishing the 5th book by the end of the school year. When I was told it was her, I was safe. This child would not be dumb enough to completely disregard her teacher's instructions and eat a marshmallow, therefore exposing a toothpick. SO I go to the nurse thinking maybe she tripped and skinned her knee or maybe she threw up.

Wellllll, I guess children will be children, smart or not.

This child put her project down on the bus seat, ate a marshmallow, and then stood up. Her project was a cube, so there was a toothpick sticking straight in the air, sort of resembling something out of Saw 57. (How many of those movies at this point?) As this student sat back down (You know how children sit so gracefully...HA.) she slams down onto the toothpick. And when I say slam, I mean SLAM. There is no other way she could have sat because of how far this toothpick was jammed into this poor child's leg.

The nurse and I could only see half of the toothpick, which means about an inch of cheap, spiky wood was lodged into this girl's leg. It was so far in, it punctured a muscle.

So, as a result of my actions, a student has a toothpick spear sticking out of her leg. I thought I was gonna get it when the dad came in. I put my game face on and was ready for the screaming and yelling that was about to occur.

Out of sheer luck, this kid's dad (who I've never met) is freaking awesome and laughed and asked the child why she ate the marshmallow. HA! Yes, always blame the child!

First year teacher is in the clear....

These were two big misfortunes of my first year. We'll see what happens this year. I'll probably need my half marathon training to take my mind off of quarter-swallowing, toothpick-stabbed children.

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