Monday, March 13, 2006

When someone tells you 'teachers have it easy', send them this post.

I forgot the best part of last week!**

Late last week, there seemed to be bugs going around. I didn't know this til late Thursday, though. Here's why.

My homeroom class comes back to me at the end of the day. They line up and wait in the hallway until my 8th period class is all done and out of the room.

So on Thursday, a minute or so after the bell rang, I opened the door to dismiss my last class. I opened the door to find...

...a huge puddle of vomit. It was pink. The kid who was standing there looked miserable. Probably because he was about to vomit again. (He did, and we all saw.)

This puddle was bigger in diameter than the doorway. Plus, it was the stinky vomit.

So yes, that's right. We were trapped.

TRAPPED in the classroom by VOMIT!

You can possibly imagine the reaction of the thirty eleven year olds who were inside the room. Screaming and freaking out and generally, immediate pandemonium.

I stayed calm. I shut the door and let the teachers in the hallway deal with those kids. I called the office to tell them to send a janitor, stat. I didn't breathe too deeply because the puddle had splashed under the door jamb. Thus, we could still smell the vomit.

I opened both of the windows that open. Sadly (well, usually happily), they are both high up. The students rushed to the windows, clamoring for fresh air.

You think that doesn't sound too bad?

We were trapped there for FIFTEEN MINUTES waiting for a janitor. I called the office a second time. Five desperate minutes later, I called a teacher on the first floor, and asked her to walk and find a janitor and tell someone to get upstairs immediately.

Kids were calling their parents, and fretting about the missed busses. One girl handed me a cell phone, because her mom wanted to make sure she wasn't lying about where she was.

I blew my whistle a few times to try and calm the crowd, reminding them that screaming about it wasn't going to make it any better. "This is not a fun situation right now, but unfortunately we're stuck in here and we just have to deal with it," I said.

I took out my trivia deck and asked a few questions. That worked fairly well for diverting their attention, which was a relief, if only for a minute.

[For the record, this is not the first time I've dealt with vomit in the classroom. Twice over the last year or so, kids have puked IN the classroom. Thankfully, both times it was a small amount and not the smelly kind, so I could easily hold my breath and put a couple paper towels over it until the custodian got there.]

Oh, and you know the kicker? At about 2.35, after the inside class finally escaped and the locker class had quickly gotten their things, I still had to do math with my tutoring group. I'm quite sure I was totally useless; talk about frazzled!

**As most of you should have been able to infer, this is a little something we like to call sarcasm.


Anonymous said...


I've only dealt with failed bladders so far. First graders have got their priorities straight, throw up AT HOME!


Gwennaƫlle said...

I am leaving today for Lyon to take the written part of the competition to become an english teacher for either junior high or high school student. Wish me luck and I will think about you throwing up story when I feel too stressed and need to focus on something else.

Gwennaƫlle said...

"Shania Twain" or "Bob." just read the link about what you like or not. The part about how francophones say these two names made me laugh. I can say "Shania Twain" But I just cannot say "bob". When I moved to Az I had this friend who would just laugh really hard when I would say this name. I can hear the difference between how you (americans) say it and how I say it but I just cannot do it. I have a hard time with 20th and 28th as well....

NYC Educator said...


There's a best-selling title if I ever heard one.

Consider it for your memoirs.