Monday, November 02, 2009


There is a book that must elementary school teachers know- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day. I like to think of poor Alexander whenever I have a day like the one I had today....
My morning started with a daughter who is clearly still thrown by the time change and decided to wake up at 5:20 a.m. I listened to her screaming while I showered and then kept her occupied while I attempted to get dressed.
Got into my car, only five minutes late!, only to discover a warning light flashing at me alarmingly from the control panel. I chastised myself the entire way to daycare, convinced it was the oil light telling me that I made the wrong decision to stay at home and work on my thesis this weekend instead of getting the much needed oil change. A quick stop at the Mobil station and I filled my oil tank, hoping it would do the trick. As I sat in an impossibly long line of cars waiting to get onto the parkway, I looked up the warning light that was still glaring at me from the dashboard and discovered that it was not, in fact, the oil but rather the tire pressure. Great.
There were yellow warnings printed in bold letters about Accident! Serious Injury! Damage to the car! all over the owner's manual so I drove to work worried about THAT. When I finally arrived at school (an hour later.....ahh, morning commute, how I love thee) I actually looked at the tire in question and, frankly, dismissed all of my fears as unreasonable because the thing didn't look remotely flat.
Going about my morning....students arrive, get working, all seems OK. Time to go to music at 9:40 and one of my little girls is in tears with her mom waiting out in the hall to talk to me for "just a quick minute". I send my student teacher and para off to bring the kids to music, figuring nothing could really happen along the short walk while I talk to the girl in question. Do my best cheerleader interpretation, reassure the mom, solve the problem, yay me.
Begin walking the girl to music and run into my para who has come to let me know that one of my little guys has stabbed another kid with a pencil.
Get to my class, waiting outside the music room, and attempt to get the stabber out of line to visit the principal. Temper tantrum, screaming fit and he throws himself down in the middle of the front entrance way and refuses to budge.
It's not even 10:00 yet and I have about fifteen more minutes before I am supposed to be in a meeting with a former parent of mine who is planning on suing our district (again). I grab the principal, who disciplines the student right there in the hall because he won't move, then am told to track down the special education teacher and the school social worker. Fine. Grab both and leave my screamer in their capable hands while I go to my hour long meeting with the former parent.
That meeting ends, as expected (he'll sue- again), and I check in on my student. He's now in the school social workers office, still quite unhappy. Head off to another meeting with the parent of the stabber....thirty minutes later, meeting is over, stabber is settled down and in the classroom.
Lunch time hits and I walk my kids outside and watch the stabber as he hauls off and hits another student.
Repeat visit to principal (much calmer this time) and visit to school social worker. I leave the kid with her while I make a phone call to the parent of the kid who was stabbed, and some copies and, blessedly, finally, make it to the bathroom. Stabber makes his way inside for lunch and I finally sit down to eat mine- with five minutes to do so.

Luckily, the afternoon passed without incident.....

And tomorrow is a brand new day--more importantly, a day without students! I'm hoping the teachers don't get bored during our workshops tomorrow and stab one another with their pencils......


Keetha said...

I do not know how you, or any teacher, does it. THANK YOU.

Tina said...

The fact that you even had to nickname one of your kids as "Stabber" pretty much says it all.

Kids do not understand daylight savings. It usually takes weeks to get them into the right schedule. Sorry, that doesn't help, does it??

Mom S said...

OMG!!!! This sounds like an awful day- filled with awful parents and a really nasty kid! I want to go and give them really really mean-faced looks? People just don't know how hard an educator's job is.
We love you!
Mom S xoxo

JaxMom said...

What an awful day, Lisa! Hang in there. Did you ever get to hear what the little girl wanted? And how in the world did our teachers do it without a para?

Anonymous said...

What!!! why was that kid not sent home immediately? What are the administrators waiting for?A bigger weapon?
Truly I don't know how you stay sane.
There is a special place for all loving,caring teachers.