Thursday, September 23, 2004

why Thoreau went to the woods

Today I agreed to babysit a class during my planning period, just because I felt strong after having had a day so good it will go in the books of my entire teaching career as one of the best. We read Thoreau. They understood. So when the secretary asked me to cover a class, feeling so strong as I did, I said okay. Trying to do my part. During a moment when things were finally relatively still in the room, though there were still hallwalkers coming in who sniffed out a substitute in the class, me, the Hunter ceiling fan fell from the ceiling and hit a student. The administrator who finally arrived scooted me and the now chaotic children under my watch (haha) into the classroom next door which ALSO didn't have a teacher in it. So I was now in charge of watching two out of control groups of students, and the new venue was a science lab with glass cabinets. A kid who, I found out later, was not even one of the students I was supposed to be watching, threw a bottle of 7-up, real hard, at me. He missed. Probably intended to miss. Had he hit me it would have been another story. Two kids pushed past me to escape the room and there was nothing I could do. It was absurd. And I can't write anymore about it tonight. Except to say that a group of paramedics had to come for the girl and took her away in an ambulance, her neck secured in a plastic cast and her body strapped onto an orange fiberglass guerney. The children in the room hung out of the open windows looking out onto Alvar Street, watching what was probably not the first ambulance they'd ever seen in their lives.



Blogger KarenM said...

Wow, Melanie. I'm so angry at what these children and you and the other teachers have to go through. Who is letting this happen? All of us. You have to publish this book because everyone needs to read it. How in the world can we expect these children to learn in these conditions? Test scores--what a joke!
I'm very worried about you and wondering what you must be thinking/feeling after this incident.

This blog is amazing, and you are so brave to do this, to put yourself out there on the limb by writing and publishing this daily. It's so
naked, so different from keeping a private journal and
editing later. And as teacher reading this, my own teaching, however similar or different, is invigorated
because the motivating heart of what you are doing is love, the only motivation that makes teaching worthwhile.

You have a right to be safe, as do these children. That's probably in your contract.

What the hell are we doing in Iraq when we can't even manage to ensure rights for own own children?!

I'm so angry...

4:51 AM  
Blogger dancingspirit said...

AMEN !!!!!

4:04 AM  

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